Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gospel Reflection

February 04, 2012
St. Joseph of Leonessa, Capuchin, Priest (Memorial)
by V. Romeo A. Almeda
Sharing God’s Message to Me

First Reading:                1 Kings 3:4-13
Psalm:                          Psalm 119:9-14
Gospel:                         Mark 6:30-34

30 The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

Pray for Means to Achieve My Ends

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon made this request. 11 So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this — not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right — 12 I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. 13 In addition, I give you what you have not asked for, such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like. 1 Kings 3:10-13


This is one of my favorite stories. Over the last few days, by Godcidence, I cited this story first to my good buddy (a Protestant) and lately to a sister. This to me is the essence of prayer - first, pray to know God's will; and second, pray for what are needed (the means) to accomplish God's will (the end). God wanted Solomon to govern over His people (the end), so Solomon asked for wisdom to govern (the means). God being so pleased with this request granted Solomon more than what he asked for. The lesson to me here is that if we seek the means to God's end, God will gladly grant it and will generously give more than what we asked for. We can leave it all up to Him to decide what to give us but let us ask Him to make us good instruments or vessels or channels.

The LORD knows the desires of our hearts even before we pray for them. And we know that He has plans for us, for our welfare, not for woe; plans to give us a future full of hope. Is there really any point in asking the LORD to make me "a successful architect" when what that really means is the vanity of riches and fame? But if I ask Him to grant me the Holy Spirit's healing grace when I pray over a sick brother, is there any doubt that He will send me the Holy Spirit while praying? No, there is no doubt. If we who are wicked know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the heavenly Father grant the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Through the Holy Spirit, God may extend the life of one man if it is according to His will. If not, He may grant relief from pain or peace of mind or joy in passing, all still through the Holy Spirit.

LORD, make me a channel of Your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring Your love. Amen.