Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Twenty-Seventh Wednesday of Ordinary Time

"Have you reason to be angry over the plant?" "I have reason to be angry," Jonah answered, "angry enough to die." Then the LORD said, "You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor and which you did not raise; it came up in one night and in one night it perished. And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?

Our own sufferings can sometimes cause us to lose sight of the big picture. We see something good taken away from us... a loved one, our health, our job, etc. and we get angry at God. We ask Him, “How could you do this to me?” Or we complain that we’ve done everything He’s asked and we’re still no better off or even worse off. We think God is a miracle dispenser and wonder why He’s not giving us what we want after we’ve “paid” him in fasting, almsgiving, or prayers. However, God isn’t some magical vending machine dispensing good things to us after we pay Him in some way. Rather, He gives freely and in accord with our needs and His Divine Plan. He does everything for a reason, but not necessarily in the ways we want. What He gives us isn’t ours. The graces, gifts, and goods of our lives are on loan to us and when they are taken away we shouldn’t complain. Instead, we should thank God for the time we had with what He gave us and express our trust that He has taken away what we had for our betterment. With this type of approach, we can better let go and let God in all things.

Is there something we are angry with God about? How can we prepare ourselves better for those times when we are tempted to complain to God? How can we avoid being like Jonah and being concerned only for ourselves?

O Lord, help us to keep in mind the big picture.


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