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Hey God, Let’s Do This

First Reading: Acts 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Gospel: John 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

NAB

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I have to be honest, sometimes I think God’s will really stinks.

Or, at least that’s the way it sometimes feels in the moment. You see, I’m a planner. If Type A had a conference, I’d not only attend, but I’d be the organizer. At times, it feels like I have the death grip on the plans for my life.

Attend college, check. Get married, check. Have kids, check. Get gray hair, wait, wrong list. All of those “plans” I had for my life were beautiful, life-changing, and virtuous. But it’s when I relinquished the reins and leaned into the lessons of God’s will, that we dove deeper. Together.

This past fall, our school community was rocked with four very tragic, very difficult deaths—a sibling, a student, a mother, and a grandfather. I’ll be honest, I really struggled with how all of that loss, all of those tears, could be His will. Then, God poured on the grace.

I came to understand that much loss in that short of a time was never His will. How our community has rallied, prayed, and transformed had His hand all over it, though. It has been the “take your breath away” kind of beauty I never saw coming. He’s good at that.

I’ve seen a palpable change in how I parent my children, a refocused priority shift in my marriage, the ability to let (most of) the little stuff go. In the end, though, God wants all of us. Go ahead and flip the let’s do this button and hand over the keys to your will. You aren’t handing them over blindly, you’re handing them over in faith, knowing that your ‘yes’ leads to heaven.

How about it? Let’s do this.

Instead of saying no today, find one way to say yes to God. It might be saying no to social media and yes to your kids, no to ice cream and yes to a family walk or no to the snooze button and yes to daily Mass.

photo credit

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer, and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.

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