Saturday, 9 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Readings

Many children are familiar with the unwritten contract with Santa Claus. "Do good all year and Santa Claus will give you presents." In fact, a child can give Santa Claus a list of the presents he/she wants and 'pays' for those presents by not misbehaving. Even when it is revealed that it is the child's parents or guardians who give the presents and not Santa Claus, this unwritten contract is still valid. Thus we teach our children to bargain, to not misbehave not because of love, filial duty or discipline but because to get something at the end of the day, in other words to "force" us to give them stuff in return.
You can imagine how such children may come badly unstuck when they encounter life and faith. Neither is Santa Claus or obliging parents. Neither can be bargained with. Neither can be approached with "I scratch your back you scratch my back" or "If you don't do as I say, I'll not do what you say" mentalities. Both require patience. Both require people to persevere, to believe and trust even when there is no evidence that one's desires will be fulfilled. Both require adaptation of such desires to their realities.
Talking about faith, as Christians we are not to treat God as Santa Claus. We are not to put our desires above His will. We are not to bargain with Him (i.e. thinking that if we do these good deeds, or say that chain of prayers, then God must fulfill his part and grant our wishes) for such thinking means we lack faith in the rightness of our desires and in the rightness of God's will for us. If our desires are right and fit in God's plan for us, then He will grant them. As is written in the book of Habakkuk: For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late
Then how to make sure our desires fit into His plan? Simply by asking Him, by surrendering our wishes to Him, by not giving Him a list of things to do for us but telling Him our problems and asking Him to solve them in His way and in His time. In other words, we put His plan above our desires, and are willing to change those desires if He prompts us to do so. So let us pray for faith the size of a mustard seed so we can be true disciples of God th Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

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