Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Conflicts

Photo by Kris Schulze
I really didn't want to get up and go to Mass this morning. I initially planned to go last night, but got busy with a project and didn't go. I've got to focus on Him. I definitely feel like I've lost that focus that I had over the past few years.

I read the Readings while in Adoration on Thursday...that is, after almost falling asleep saying the Rosary. The First Reading (Jeremiah 20: 7-9) had me duped.  Why was Jeremiah saying those things? Why in the world is that the First Reading? After reading it a couple of times (to make sure I read it right the first time), I opened the Bible and read what came before and after, as well as the introduction to this book. It kind of made sense after that.
Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, but it didn't always go well for him. My take on this reading is that he was just tired of being a prophet and sick of being unappreciated. The Catholic Study Bible (3rd Edition) indicates that he had more of an impact after his death. He voiced his frustration in what we read today, but then he turns it around and says that the Lord will prevail over those who are condemning him. But then...he goes back to wishing he hadn't been born. Such a conflicted soul!


The Second Reading (Romans 12:1-2) is a short one, but reminds us to stay true to God. Do what is right and don't succumb to peer pressure or what's going on right now. Our country is such a mess in terms of "if you don't agree with me, then you're (insert word here)." Instead of respecting others' opinions, the "other side" is criticized and ridiculed. St. Paul tells us in this very short passage to stick to your guns and don't succumb. You know what is right...keep doing it and believing it. Even when, like Jeremiah, you get discouraged and it seems that the whole world is against you, keep fighting the good fight.

The Gospel (Matthew 16:21-27) wraps everything up. If you stay true and conduct yourself as you should, you will receive your heavenly reward. Peter & Jeremiah both wanted to take matters into their own hands, forgetting God's will.  During RCIA last week when we discussed this week's Gospel, the question came up about knowing what your cross is that you have to bear. Maybe we don't really know what that cross is; we have to have faith that whatever it is, God will give us the grace to carry it as long as we don't turn our back on Him.

As I said in the beginning of this post: I really didn't want to go to Mass this morning. While I was in the shower, I thought about how the devil is trying to get me to not go, and he will not win. I refuse to let him win or have any power over me. So I finished getting ready & went. Imagine how surprised I was when Father said "When we least feel like being at Mass we need to be there most." That was definitely a "Jethro Slap" moment!  (If you watch NCIS, you know what I'm talking about.) No matter what you're going through or whether you're on fire, lukewarm, or kind of cool about God & your faith, keep working through it. He's there for you, and he's waiting with open arms. After all, even the saints went through cool periods in their lives.

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