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Thought for the weekend: On being rooted in God

By Fr Patrick McCafferty

In the Scriptures proclaimed in many churches tomorrow, we will hear the Apostle Paul famously refer to his weakness as "a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan" which the Lord did not remove from his life but left there to teach him to rely, all the more, on the power of God and not his own resources (Cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). This mysterious 'messenger of the enemy' is allowed to trouble Paul to stop him from getting too proud, to keep his feet on the ground. Without humility, the Christian perishes.

The Christian knows that God, in Whom we live and move, is the solid ground of his and her existence (Acts 17:28).

To depart from our rootedness in God, even for an instant, can spell spiritual ruin.

A Christian's life is not about 'success'. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once famously said: "God did not call me to be successful but to be faithful."

And so, we are able to rest content in God even if things are not working out as we planned or had wished.

The prophet Ezekiel is sent to 'an obstinate set of rebels'. God does not promise that Ezekiel will successfully convert them. He simply says: "Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them" (Ezekiel 2:2-5).

Likewise, when the Lord Jesus Himself encounters rejection in His own community of Nazareth, He does not trouble Himself unduly.

He was amazed at their lack of faith but He did not force Himself upon them (Mark 6:1-6).

The great heroes of faith, Abraham for example, trusted God implicitly - even when they did not understand God's purposes - even when they could not see clearly the path ahead.

They knew that with God they were safe. It is such radical faith that we must aspire towards. It is the only safe and sure guide that leads directly to eternal union with God.

Belfast Telegraph


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