How many times in one day do we question the power of God? Some days it might feel like every five minutes. We question if God is really here with us. We question if God really cares about us. We question if God is supporting us at all. Whenever we walk through difficult struggles, our faith is tested and we question.
When I read the first reading, I immediately thought of my trust in the Lord. It is a very reassuring reading because we read not only about our enemies and those who desire to see us fail but also about God. God is right there with us as the wicked are whispering about our demise.
“But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion:”
A few prayers stick out in my mind when I read those words. A very popular reflection on trust in the Lord is the Footprints poem. Another wonderful prayer is by Mother Teresa and referred to as the Anyway poem. Lastly, Psalm 23 is one of my favorites when reflecting on trust in the Lord. God is always with us, it is always between God and me, and even when I walk through darkness, I still have nothing to fear with the Lord by my side.
After reading today’s gospel, some may hesitate to place their trust in the Lord after reading that He fled from the Jews and escaped back across the Jordan. How can we trust in the Lord if He does not even stay to defend Himself? As you may have read in Dan’s post from yesterday, this is not the time for the Lord to be arrested, charged and convicted of crimes. Jesus makes many references during His public ministry to His passion. He knew exactly what the timeline of His public ministry was. He knew the exact day and hour that His passion would begin.
Jesus did not flee because He was scared or because He did not want to defend Himself; Jesus escaped because He knew that it was not His hour. Just as all human beings are born with the incredible gift of free will, Jesus was also born with free will. He could have changed the schedule of His public ministry somehow but Jesus had absolute faith and trust in His father and in what He was sent to Earth to accomplish. Jesus had absolute trust in God the father. We are called to use our incredible gift of free will to place our trust in the Lord.
I think that is one lesson from Jesus that I gloss over – Jesus was the one who taught us to trust in God. I know other lessons that Jesus taught with His public ministry such as clothe the naked, comfort the ill, love your neighbor as yourself, but the example to trust in God is sometimes pushed to the back. It is a lesson that we need to remember every day because not one day goes by when we are not challenged in some day. It is a daily necessity to place our trust in the Lord. God does not require it from us every day but that does not mean we should ignore Him for even 24 hours.
What a wonderful combination today’s first reading and Gospel make. We are reminded to trust in God (first reading) because He knows exactly what He is doing (Gospel).