Saturday, January 31, 2015

Feb. 1, 2015: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

Click to hear Audio Homily
How many of us have heard the following phrase from our kids, “Leave me alone!” Children can be adept at shutting down, and shutting you out—leaving you with unanswered questions and a whole lot of frustration. We adults can also shutdown or shut others out, just as adeptly as children.

As Jesus was preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, a poor demented man created a scene. He cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” In effect what the man was saying was, ‘Don’t meddle with us. Leave us alone.’ Jesus was not put off by the man’s outburst. In the cry, ‘What do you want with us?’ he heard a cry for help. So he healed him.

The urge to hide our problems is very powerful. In fact, we find it hard to admit that we can’t manage our problems. Pride tells us: I should be able to handle my own problems. We may be aware of our need to seek outside help, but hide it for fear of appearing inadequate. We’d rather appear strong and keep the suffering to ourselves. Have you ever said to yourself, ‘I gotta do this all by myself!’

When our lives are running smoothly and devoid of trials, we have a tendency to rely upon our own human strength. However, when our life is beset with difficulties and storms, our strength fades away and we become weak. Yet in these times of personal weakness we can turn to Jesus and rely upon His divine strength, and through that strength, face and endure those storms. A simple prayer, “Jesus, I trust in you,” is a powerful antidote to our cry ‘Leave me alone!’ Prayer opens our closed heart and mind to the possibility that God wants to use other people to assist us.

To acknowledge one’s weakness takes courage, but it can open the way for us to depend on God and others. Those who don’t disguise their struggles, but depend on God and others to work through their struggles, become a source of hope for others. This week, can you make a small prayer each day, “Jesus, I trust in you!”