Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students
November 15th, 2012
Bio | Email: KevinRyan@creighton.edu
“The day will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.”
All too often, when things seem to be going great, something happens that brings us emotionally and spiritually down to complete emptiness. At these times we may find ourselves in a place of grave desolation, a place incomparable to anything we have ever experienced before. We may suffer broken hearts, terrible losses, crushed spirits, or profound loneliness and depression. We may feel as if our hearts are being ripped apart under the burdens of grief, despair, loss, and regret, and that God has completely abandoned us. We find ourselves in a downward spiral where everything is working against us and things only seem to be getting worse. These times we feel as if we may never make it out.
Our prayer life is profoundly affected by this desolation. We beg God to come into our lives and fix our situation, heal our wounds, give us companionship, bring somebody back, ease the burden of grief and guilt we have to carry, fill the void in our hearts, etc. For hours on end we may pray like this only to come back to life finding that nothing has changed, that God has done nothing for us, causing us to fall even deeper into despair. At times like these, we “long to see one of the days of the Son of Man”, for an end to the pain, but there is just no end in sight.
During these times, though, we must realize that God is more at work in and around us than ever. As Jesus said in today’s gospel, “The coming of the kingdom cannot be observed”. The end of our suffering will come but we may not be able to see it.
Even though we may think we see inaction on God’s part and begin to blame God, we must realize he would never will such a terrible burden of grief on anybody. Yet we still find ourselves here. Our temptation is to turn away from God and to abandon our faith just as it seems God has abandoned us. But we must realize that this desolation we experience is an opportunity to make our faith stronger than ever. It is so easy to have faith during times we are blessed by God with fortune, but the test of faith comes in times of intense desolation. If our faith holds strong, even in the wake of debilitating attrition, that desolation will be nothing in comparison to what will await us in eternity. Through the worst, God often brings the best. We will find great joy that awaiting us when we keep the faith as Paul does in this letter to Philemon: “I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the holy ones have been refreshed by you, brother.”
Brothers and sisters, there is hope. Keep faithful and vigilant, even in times of despair, because God loves us infinitely. We are not alone in our desolation.
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