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Feelings and Grace

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 5-6, 7

R. (see 7) In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
the snares of death overtook me.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Gospel: John 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.

NAB

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I have a tough time trusting in God. In big things, in little things, in life changing decisions, in hoping that tomorrow’s appointment will go well or if I’ll be able to get everything done on my to-do list. I have a big problem with things being outside of my own control, of feeling disappointment, and becoming flexible to God’s plan.

I easily take things that are God’s work in my life and believe them to be completely wrong. I don’t believe that an inconvenience, a disappointment, or bigger issues like health problems can possibly be part of God’s will. And when I think about why I refuse to believe and trust in these instances I routinely come back to my own feelings. My feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger.

Is God causing these feelings or am I choosing these feelings instead of asking for grace to see things the way He sees them?

The Jews were trying to stone Jesus. To kill him. And why? Because He was doing good things that they refused to see as good. They were letting their own perspectives and feelings cloud their ability to see Christ in their very midst, to the extent of violent measures towards Him.

I can’t help but realize if maybe I do this as well when I let my emotions and my own selfish ways of thinking pervade my life. In my anger and disappointment am I saying to God that what He is doing is intolerable to me? It’s not a far step to let my emotions become violent, even sinful. My emotions and attitude have an incredible force not only in my personal outlook, but in the lives of those around me; it’s so easy to let these feelings and attitudes become sinful. My sin is violence against God’s life in my soul. My sin is that stone against Christ.

Lord, show me your wisdom and truth in my life. Help me see your plans as good. I offer you my emotions and feelings, please work in my heart and give me eyes to see your love today. 

photo credit

Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.

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