Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
When tragedy occurs people say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” Since most everything in society has become political, some politicians have used this phrase to decry inaction on the part of their opponents. “Keep your thoughts and prayers,” they say, “What we need now are actions!”
This rejoinder is a false dichotomy. To keep the suffering in thoughts in prayers does not mean one cannot also act on their behalf in the present or to prevent tragedy in the future. What the Christian believes is that suffering is going to occur in this world, but also that the Lord will sustain us; God can bring good out of bad events in a fallen world.
We keep faith in God. Psalm 146 tells us today that, “The Lord keeps faith forever.” That is to say: The Lord keeps faith that we will rely on Him and not merely our own trifles. “The Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the just.”
Jesus tells us the pure of heart will see God. Doubt clouds the heart and in fact makes it harder to act courageously, kindly, and generously to our neighbors. We create new idols due to impurity of heart. It is worth it to ask what my first thought is when I wake up. Is it of Christ and doing the Father’s will? Do I offer my day to Him and ask for the Spirit to perfect my actions? If my thoughts and prayers are not faithful to God, my actions will soon fail to help any mortal.
Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB