First Reading: Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16
Now Sar'ai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar; and Sar'ai said to Abram, "Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my maid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sar'ai. So, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, Sar'ai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sar'ai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my maid to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!" But Abram said to Sar'ai, "Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her as you please." Then Sar'ai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, maid of Sar'ai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from my mistress Sar'ai." The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit to her." The angel of the LORD also said to her, "I will so greatly multiply your descendants that they cannot be numbered for multitude." And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ish'mael; because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen." And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish'mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish'mael to Abram.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 106:1-5
Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! Remember me, O LORD, when thou showest favor to thy people; help me when thou deliverest them; that I may see the prosperity of thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thy heritage.
Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
"Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
As I write this reflection, I am 36 weeks pregnant with my sixth baby. I feel huge and heavy. I grunt a lot when I move around and I snap at my kids for leaving things on the ground and I don't feel very lovely. I get really sore if I sit too long. I have heartburn. And to add insult to injury, I have a cold.
It isn't easy for me to think of this as doing the will of the Father or honoring His call for my life. In fact, I hardly ever do. Could this possibly be it, Jesus? This large, almost always uncomfortable version of myself?
I think He would say Yes. I think He would tell me, "Daughter, live your life for love of Me and you will have accomplished my will."
I think I need to say yes back. Yes, Father, I will do this the whole way through. With all its bumps and bruises and all of its frustration and pain.
I have a pregnancy—maybe you do, too. Or maybe it's a job or a neighbor or an injury or a marriage or a win or a loss. I don't mean to lump these things into one category but the category is universal because it's all simply the call.
Where are you now? What is He requiring of you? Will you say yes? Will you say it again and again? Oh, Saints, pray for us!
Blythe Fike is the wife of Kirby and mother of 5 smallish kids. She homeschools and loves the quiet life in small town SoCal. You can find out more about her here.