September 5, 2017
by Catie Bacon
Creighton University's Human Resources
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 432

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 4:31-37

Praying Ordinary Time


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I recently attended a funeral for a 7 month old baby. It was one of the most heart wrenching experiences I can remember. I haven’t cried like that in years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my husband that emotional. The presider over the funeral service was a Chaplain from Children’s Hospital and in these times of sorrow and unbelief, he was able to help bring some peace.

He acknowledged our tendencies to ask God, “Why?” and “How could you let this happen?” and challenged us to instead trust that if we believe God is who He says He is, to believe that in the darkest moments of life, God has not left our side. What is faith if we only cling to it when life is easy? This certainly was not the first time I’ve heard this, but for some reason today it resonated with me. I believe God is God of life and death, of good and bad, of joy and sorrow. The Chaplain was not saying there could not be sadness and mourning; he was cautioning us not to harden our hearts against God and throw blame in His face. Instead, we could mourn with God and ask Him to bring comfort to our hearts. We are blessed because we know how the story ends—we know that God wins. That heaven is real, that a new life is ahead, and that lightness overcomes darkness as it says in today’s reading in 1 Thessalonians 5.

The last thought I wanted to share is one last story from that funeral. Only by the strength from God were the parents of this beautiful, baby boy able to speak at the lectern and address the audience. Fighting back tears, the father of the young boy was telling a story of on one of his many commutes from work to the hospital, he was overcome with sadness. He began to cry and yell out to God “You do not understand my pain! If you understood my pain, my son would not be near the end of his life!” Then, he said he felt a hand on his shoulder and a voice overhead speak to him. “I do understand, Jeremy. I gave my only Son to die for the sins of the world.”

God, I will fail to understand you again and again as my life goes on. But you never fail to understand me.

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