|Memorial of St. Leo the Great
Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27
Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11
Today's scriptures are an interesting mix, but a theme that seems to run through them is the importance of relationships. In Romans, Paul greets many people by name. He wants each individual to realize how important they are to him. He considers them fellow workers in Christ. Verse seven stood out to me where Paul greets two relatives who have been in prison with him, Andronicus and Junias. Paul states that they were in Christ before he was. The psalmist sings praises to God and says the "One generation will commend your works to another, they will tell of your mighty acts." In Luke, Christ tells a parable that ends with the statement that "You cannot serve both God and money."
Recently I read an article in Family Circle by Stephen King. Yes, the king of horror writing for a family magazine. In the article, King said that if you want to invest in something of value and permanence, don't think about money, think about relationships. His example was to simply talk to a child. My oldest son rejects much of what I believe. I love him with all my heart and to say that this causes my heart to ache doesn't do the feeling justice. Sometimes when I speak to him about my belief in God I wonder if I'm simply wasting my breath. Isn't there a better way to spend my time?
Paul, the psalmist and Christ would all say, "no." It's all about relationships. How we relate to God and how we relate to our fellow man. My son challenges and doubts most everything that I accept on faith. When my frustration level reaches a peak, I think of Christ's relationship with Thomas. Thomas had walked with Christ. He had seen the miracles with his own two eyes. And yet, at the resurrection, "doubting Thomas" would not believe. Did Christ reject him? Did he send him packing? Did a lightning bolt fly down from heaven? No. Christ afforded Thomas an opportunity not granted to any other disciple or to anyone else that I know of. Thomas touched Christ's wounds. And then Thomas went out as an ambassador for Christ and changed the world forever. Being called a "doubting Thomas" should not be considered a bad thing. It's OK to doubt. Remember, God's the one who gave us the brain where doubts arise. I'm encouraged by the example of Christ's relationship with Thomas and realize I should never give up on a relationship. Especially one as important as the one with my son.
My prayer today is for patience and trust. Patience in my relationships
with others and trust in God to guide my steps in those relationship.
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