Daily Reflection
July 17th, 2004
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Theology and Chaplain of Kiewit Residence Hall
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Micah 2:1-5
Psalm 10:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 14
Matthew 12:14-21

I believe that it was Teresa of Avila who once told the Lord "You would have a lot more friends if you treated them better."  The spirit of gumption, intimacy, and humor that lies behind her words (for she certainly was aware of how well God does treat us) is one of the most attractive things about that wonderful woman.

The fact remains, however, that God does let difficult and sometimes even very painful things happen to those He loves, those who put their trust in him.  In today's Gospel Jesus points to how much he himself will have to suffer by invoking one of the so-called "Suffering Servant" songs from Isaiah, even if it is not the most explicit one.

How God can allow such things as calumny, poverty, pain, rejection, torture, and even death to happen to those who serve him is a mystery that deserves our reflection and especially our prayer, but the fundamental answer is that we must learn (and that really is the key word) to put our hope in God.  If we loved God only when he made things sweet and lovely we would remain superficial, our faith a seed that took no deep root, and we would remain the most childish of people. 

But God is treating us like adults, calling us to the higher things and inviting us, like Peter, to walk on water even in a stormy darkness.  He is inviting us to put our hope in Him completely and to follow His Son along the difficult path and through the narrow gate, the way of the cross.

Let us set aside what is only temporary pain, rejection by a world that is passing away, and our lack of understanding, and let us place ourselves peacefully and even joyfully in the hands of our loving God, our Father, just as Jesus did.

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