June 25, 2017: 12th Sunday A
Do we ever wonder how growth and change happen to us and in us? Sometimes we have control over what we want to change and yet at times we are not given a choice but to accept. How does our faith in God help us through the change? Here are some examples. Shortly, our high school graduates will embark on a new adventure in college, facing unfamiliar environment, leaving old friends, and making new friends. Starting July 1, some of our priests will take on new parish assignments--full of hope, yet also with some doubt whether they have the gifts necessary to handle unfamiliar responsibilities. Some of us are facing a new transition--perhaps separation from marriage, incurable illness, or surviving the death of a loved one. Our family and friends advise us to put ourselves and the new challenge entirely into God’s hands. We are advised to trust and to believe that God will be there for us. Yet, we cannot help but admit that we are afraid of the change. It may seem to us more practical and effective to adjust to the change on our own than to allow God to lead us.
Jesus speaks to all of us who believe we control every circumstances. To show us a different way, Jesus invites us to look at the birds in the air. Two sparrows are sold for a penny, but not one of them will fall to the ground without the Father wanting. Every hair on our head has been counted, and not one hair falls without our Father wanting it (Lk 21, 18).
A survivor of cancer recently shared how this gospel passage consoled him so much. He said as his hair fell everyday from chemo treatment, his fear of death was overcome by his awareness of God’s love for him. This life threatening experience helped him put everything else in life in perspective. Even though he got strange looks from the congregation with his bald head, he courageously went up to the ambo during Sunday mass to lector. He was honoring and giving testimony to the Father by living a life of trust in His Providence. Although the cancer was an unwelcomed and unstoppable change, his life of faith transformed the darkness into light.
Do we realize how much joy we bring to the Heavenly Father when we acknowledge Him through our lives? When we give testimony of His Living Word by preaching not by words but our lives of humble trust, we make ourselves worthy of being a child of God.