I really liked the First Reading from Genesis and the message it delivered to me as a Christian. The opportunity, the possibility of having a world community that understands each other and feeling “settled in” with each other, having “the whole world speaking the same language” gives me hope. Until this sentence, “They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.’” The reading then changes direction and directs me to consider the human strife that occurs with the quest for personal power or our desire to ‘be in charge’.
This reading helped me to reflect on the fact that when we lose our humility and lose our daily reliance on God, we begin to see ourselves as being ‘in charge’. If we begin to fear earthly threats and think we can manage on our own, what’s to stop any of us from thinking it’s all about me and what I can do or what it is that I want. Being humbled by having our earthly powers limited, by not feeling “I know all and understand all” makes us stop to appreciate what I do know and understand and to respect and to search for what I don’t know and what I don’t understand. Having humbling experiences has heightened my awareness of my reliance on God and my need to look to the Lord for guidance and direction in my life.
The Psalm, which reads, “The Lord brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.” This verse tells me of my need to stay in relationship/conversation with God. We are all invited to reflect on scriptures and the examples the Lord has provided and to feel God’s presence as we discern our life journey. “He who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works.” It is overwhelming to think about God’s ability to know each and everyone of us, inside and out. He who knows our intentions, our triumphs, and our failures and thus the comfort that comes from our trusting in God’s plan. Not our plans for ourselves though these can be the same or completely contradictory.
In today’s Gospel, I am reminded to listen fully to what Jesus has told us. We have to be willing to sacrifice and acknowledge our weaknesses and our worries and trust that God will help us get along and get through these weaknesses and worries. We are asked to live an authentic life which is unique to each of us and to not be consumed by what the world says we should or should not value. We are called to speak openly from our hearts about how the gift of faith, given to us, has influenced what we value and therefore who we are. God invites us to discern the answers to the Big Questions “Who Am I?” and “How does my faith and my relationship with God influence or determine my life choices?” by living an authentic life that is unique to me.
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