Bulletin Article – January 21, 2024

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

Growing in Faith

by Ruth Pera, Faith Formation Coordinator

The message across all of the readings today is pretty clear: “It’s time to get moving. Don’t think about it, don’t decide later, do it now.” I don’t know about you, but I feel more than just a little called out by that. Why do we put off things that matter to us? As a lifelong struggler with my own tendency toward procrastination or indecision, it’s a big question. 

When I honestly reflect on the reasons I might delay on things that are truly important to me, it boils down to a few main reasons:

  1. I am uncertain about what circumstances might be in the future, which makes it hard for me to make a choice now.
  2. I feel like I am missing something important that the project or task will require: knowledge, time, focus, energy, funds… sometimes that missing component turns out to be confidence in my own ability.
  3. My solutions don’t seem “right” enough. What are the costs (to myself, others, progress) if I’m wrong? If something is important to me, I need to get it right.

Christ is not mentioned once in that list, so some theological reflection seems prudent: if I view each of these obstacles through a lens of faith and trust that God is present in all things, which obstacles remain?

  • I don’t know what the future holds, so I can’t make a choice now. Can I lower the fear of making a wrong decision by reminding myself that God will give us whatever is needed to address a change in circumstance later?
  • I don’t have something necessary to start the project: Can I trust in God’s goodness to teach me in fruitful ways if I just set aside my own anxieties and make a step? Sure, my bank account is highly unlikely to suddenly have funds for a new roof, but if I take a step towards getting a quote and making a savings plan, might God make the path clearer?
  • I don’t think my plan is the “right” one. Well, this is probably the same as #1, but can’t God work with our flawed efforts to bring about great things anyway?

While reading the reflection in Magnificat for Mass this weekend, I was struck by this:

“We need not look within ourselves and see only sin, which would lead us to despair. Instead, Jesus invites us to look within and see someone God loves: someone he created, someone he redeemed, someone to whom he offers the grace to overcome pride and selfishness.”

God has made us ready for whatever moment He has put in front of us; He literally created us to desire complete unity with Him. There’s no reason to delay. Whatever obstacles we think there might be, God has already taken care of them. It’s time for us to step out in faith toward His voice.

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