The Word of God

Learning How To Fly

Reflection on Mass Reading for October 8, 2019

“When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” One thing is very clear and actually demanded from the one who hears the call of discipleship to follow Jesus and wishes to answer it. It  will always involve a leap of faith, an extra helping of courage and a sometimes small, sometimes monumental act of faith. Such was the case of Jonah of which we heard in our First Reading after he was first charged to warn and issue an apocalyptic message to the Ninevites: “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed.” This was no easy task and neither was the awesome, even unexpected outcome: They changed their ways, trusted God through the words of Jonah and were saved. 

In front of this all-encompassing mercy of God that marvels as well as redeems, we can understand and agree with the Psalmist who is so insistent with the only recourse we have when we have made that tumultuous leap of complete trust:“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD, LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.” The benefits of this leap of faith are then made crystal clear and even more desirable in the Gospel today. The scene there is similar to the many experiences that we have had when something happens to us which we believe is simply not fair. This is certainly true today in the Gospel with the two famous sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha begins with Jesus suggesting that somehow all of the present tasks and responsibilities have fallen in her lap while Mary gets a pass. However, in what might be seen as a surprise response, Jesus invites her to be ready to make that leap of faith and trust with all her heart and mind as to the outcome. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.” Perhaps we could agree with a statement that was posted in a church lobby some years ago: “When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty, trust Him fully because two things will happen. Either He will catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly.”

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