So who’s in charge of YOUR life?
A Gospel refection of Mark 3: 13-19& today’s first reading: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21 [edited for space]
by Patrick Miron
God in infinite wisdom try’s to provide the answer to this critically important question for us by providing us only one choice: Either we permit God to run our lives or we assume this grave obligation for ourselves. It’s that simple and that profound. The responsibility cannot be split and shared.
Like other Catholics that I know, and know of; I find myself stressing about Pope Francis and some of the position he express’s, and some of the changes he is publically considering.
This morning at Mass Father’s Homily was on Mark’s Gospel 3:13-19 & today’s First Reading which was from 1 Samuel 24: 13-19; and it was for me a much needed Epiphany. So much so that I felt it would be appropriate to share it.
“And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him.
And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner’ges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
1Samuel 24: 3-19 [shortened for space]
“And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, `Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.'” Then David arose and stealthily cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’S anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words, and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave, and went upon his way. Afterward David also arose, and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, `Behold, David seeks your hurt’? Lo, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave; and some bade me kill you, but I spared you. I said, `I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’S anointed.’
See, my father, see the skirt of your robe in my hand; for by the fact that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May the LORD Judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me upon you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, `Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you”
What Father pointed out without asking my Question of “who’s in charge of your life”; is that it is GOD who chooses and anoints those men He selects for service. The three key words here being: God; Chooses & Anoints.
Father pointed out that it was GOD who choose the Apostles [they did not at first choose Him; they did however answer His call.] And that if it were WE making the selection; there would have been many different men chosen. The Apostles at different times disappointed God; failed to understand His teachings and even denied [directly or in directly] God in His Passion. And Judas; one of the twelve’s betrayal even lead directly to Christ Crucifixion. And yet; God NEVER gave up on them. Even addressing Judas as “friend” at the moment of betrayal. These were GOD’S anointed and chosen ones!
While Father was teaching us these two other passages came to my mind: 1st. Cor. 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”& John 15:16
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
Father went on to stress that like Saul [Israel’s 1st. King]; who turned out also to be a very bad choice [can God actually error?… NO!], BUT Saul too was the anointed one of GOD. And David, Israel’s second king was to be their most God-fearing and cherished king; [even though he too was to disappoint God; but later repented]; a king of such importance that Jesus the Messiah was to come from “David’s Line.”
I was humbled and reminded that it is GOD who is, and it is GOD who remains in charge. Clearly God’s ways are NOT always our way’s. 1st. Cor. 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” But the practice of religion is termed “Faith”; and Faith is defined by St Paul as: Heb. 11: 1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is GOD who provides the necessary grace to enable us to meet, or fail the “God-test.” The men HE chooses are expected to follow a certain path, a certain way. That choice is not forced upon them; BUT is made available to them to freely choose it, IF, if they accept and apply God’s offered grace.
So I had to ask myself: SELF… “Do you have Faith; can you believe that God IS IN charge?” And friend; whether we answer yes or no doesn’t matter. The truth; always singular per defined issues is that GOD is, and God does remain in charge. Amen! God’s WILL … will always in the end be accomplished. SHALOM!