Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Several years ago, I helped host a discernment retreat at our monastery. We promoted the weekend and welcomed people of all ages, men and women, who were discerning where God was leading them in their life—that is to say, those who were trying to understand where God’s grace was at work in their lives. Some of the people came with a specific decision they were facing like whether or not to take a new job, discerning a call to religious life or marriage, whether to move their family, or what to do after retirement. What surprised me was the variety of the group, especially in terms of ages—we had colleges students and those under the age of 40, but half of the group was over the age of 40—which indicated to me that discernment was a lifelong process and spanned all sorts of experiences and aspects of life.
What I came to discover is how God is always at work in our lives, and it is our role to seek to be attentive to this action. At times we fall into being preoccupied with what others have or what others are doing. It’s like a sibling who sees that his older brother received more ice cream—he got more, that’s not fair! We should just keep our eyes fixed on Christ, grateful for the gifts we receive and not given to comparing our faith, prayer life, or personal gifts with others.
Some people will experience God’s grace urging them to follow Him early in their life, while for others, it may take them a while to figure things out. Grumbling is of no value, and it does not build up God’s kingdom, nor does it make us more loving.
Let’s not lose the point of what Jesus communicates to us: God is generous. God is so generous with us! Rejoice in the fact that our generous God treats others with such goodness and mercy, whether we think they are deserving of it or not.
Reflection Question: Who in your life do you hope has an experience of God’s generosity and abundance of mercy? How can you pray for this person?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB