14 January, Thursday — When we lose God, it is not God who is Lost

Jan 14 — Thursday of Week 1 in Ordinary Time

Heb 3:7-14
Mark 1:40-45

…so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God…

Why is it so much easier to FALL AWAY than FALL INTO? 

Falling IN doesn’t seem to be something within our control, it’s something we want but seems to happen almost outside of ourselves. FALLING IN seems to find us. Falling in love with a person, a job, a house, a community, a church… is wonderful, but it is definitely not easy to FIND the FOREVER best friend, spouse, job, neighbourhood, church, etc. On the other hand, the falling away is generally something our human nature does on its own. It is so easy to fall way. Once you’ve been in the relationship, job, house, church, etc for a few weeks, months or years, the problems, the dirt, the less than perfect/good in the person, job, house, neighbourhood, church, is evident. 

But this isn’t about a house, job or even a spouse; this scripture is about our faith and trust in God. It was easy to believe — to have faith and trust — when we were young. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, adults, teachers, friends. Faith and trust in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, easy, didn’t even question the reality of the fullness of goodness of God! And then at some point, tragically for some very young, something happens, one big event or a pattern of deceit in all human forms and fashions envelopes a person and trust fades and faith is kicked to the curb. Sometimes even stomped on. It becomes easy to believe the worst in every and all things, to trust no one, to have faith only in oneself. To give up all the fullness of the goodness of God because of all the fullness of the sinfulness of man. When one does that, they have, indeed, lost God –- but God is not lost. 

In Hebrews today we read “….if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” In doing that, total faith and living trust in God, we would have a lifetime of goodness. As I look back on my life, I see time and time again where I put my trust in man, and not God; where I put my faith in myself, and not Christ. It always led away from goodness. Falling away from God brings nothing but despair, deceit and death. And this falling away is happening all around us in the world today. Perhaps, as scripture infers, it has been happening since Adam and Eve fell away. Yet, as John-Pierre de Caussade wrote, “God’s activity can never be anything but good, it began at the creation of the world and up till now has continued with the same energy which knows no limit.” Man’s ways can bring despair, deceit and death; God’s ways only bring goodness, truth and beauty.

So what are we to do? How can we, as people of God, as Catholics who trace our faith back in one solid line to Jesus himself, make a difference for our fallen away world? We can make a difference by continuing to pursue Christ more passionately than ever before. We can go back and reclaim the faith and trust we lived as young children. We can affect any and everyone who ever comes in contact with us. We can live in the FALLING IN and not in the falling away. Our example, our joy, our ability to generously give kindness and love to everyone is the call of Christ. Everyone. No judging, just loving. As we continue to encourage others to pursue Him with us (by our actions), we will come to find comfort in realising that we are already in the palm of His hand.

(Today’s Oxygen by Gina Ulicny)

Prayer: Father God, how faithful and trustworthy You are. We pray that we will trust you like we did as young children, and fall more deeply in love with you every day.

Thanksgiving:  Thank you, Lord, for never losing us or discarding us. Thank you for keeping us in the palm of your hand.

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