Wednesday of Week 29 in Ordinary Time
“…entrusted by God with the grace He meant for you, and that it was by a revelation that I was given knowledge of the mystery…”
With every grace that we are blessed with, we should be making good by going out to proclaim the good news, or simply share our faith with others. A grace is a privy, a gift, a blessing to share in the divine life. With that, we should be sharing what we know, for after all, the divine is often a mystery to us.
It is one thing to know all there is to know about God and all things related to him. But it is another if that is just head knowledge; or does it really reach our heart? For some time, I truly believed them to come from the heart. It is through a recent silent retreat at Lifesprings Canossian Spirituality Centre that Jesus revealed the things that are necessary in order for me to grow in my faith. He brought me back to where it all began – my family history, to revisit the times of grief, loneliness, as well as the victories of self-sufficiency and independence. That’s where some of my life scripts that I hold dear today, came from.
Growing up, my parents were often not around as they were busy running the provision shop. I was often left to my own devices and pride myself for being fiercely independent, often relying on my own strength and will. As an adult, I don’t think I did too badly. But since my Conversion Experience Retreat five years ago, I have been striving to be the perfect disciple that Jesus taught us to be. I gave up most of my material desires, I absolutely adore Jesus and I seem to have the ability to love my neighbours – even strangers. I try to evangelise through my writings, I offer prayers for friends, serve the church, give alms, and I talk to Jesus several times a day like a confidante, often consulting him on matters of the heart. But something is not right. I was that try-hard child trying to seek approval for being an A-star pupil, for all the good works I’ve done in the bid to please God.
Everyone has their personal narratives which shaped them, and which then lead to scripts that we use to navigate through life. In the movie “The Reluctant Saint”, about the life of St Joseph of Cupertino, I realised that he too had his own set of narratives – of a father who liked to drink and a mother who’s extremely assertive to the point of being overbearing. But rather than blame his parents for their shortcomings, he saw his father as “a very good man” and a mother “who has never fallen sick”. In all my throwbacks and setbacks, Jesus gives me his assurance that he’s always been there and is clearly here for me now. I no longer need to lean on my own strength. I think he’s trying to tell me that it’s about time that I give him my total surrender — which I thought I did.
To share in the divine life is to build a relationship with Jesus, to get to know him more and more. At the same time, he’s also showing, and teaching us. One of the many mysteries of God is that he is alive and living. However, he’s so subtle and gentle that it’ll be too easy to miss him actively playing a role in our lives. What I had gone through at the retreat proves one thing — our God is truly alive and living in the here and now with us, He loves us so much that he wants to be a part of our lives. If he were not real, how could there be progress in life, and how could I have experienced this conversion of heart? A conversion that’s moved me to do the things I normally wouldn’t do — writing about my faith and sharing it with strangers, wanting to be a better person, to be more selfless, and to love others as myself.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)
Prayer: Beloved Father, who is all-knowing, ever loving and merciful, may the graces that you’ve blessed us with be used to bring about more fruits of the spirit.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for being there in every moment of our lives, in all the good and especially the bad.