Thursday, October 27, 2011

Conquer Overwhelmingly

October 27, 2011

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Romans 8:31b-33

"Go and tell that fox, "Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem." Luke 13:32-33


Father, there are so many distractions in our life. You gave us all that leads to you but also gave us all that might lead us astray if we use them improperly. Jesus, help us to adopt your attitude to push forward despite all odds. Holy Spirit, watch over us and guide us as we must continue on God's way today. Amen.


John 3:16 might be a more popularly quoted line than today's passage from Romans 8. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. However, reading Romans 8:31, just might point us to the natural conclusion to the act of sending His Son to save us. If God is for us, who can be against us?

The notes to the New American Bible explain, "Through the redemptive work of Christ, Christians have been liberated from the terrible forces of sin and death. Holiness was impossible so long as the flesh (or our “old self”), that is, self-interested hostility toward God), frustrated the divine objectives expressed in the law."

What changed? The cross.

At the cross God broke the power of sin. His enemies tried to break Jesus. Yet they found out that not even the cruelest capital punishment of his mortal enemies could overcome the power of God’s love. Can the act on the cross not then help us to overcome every obstacle we face, every obstacle, trial or tribulation that tries to separate us from the love of our God?

Not even Herod's plot against Jesus could keep Jesus from fulfilling his destiny and ours in Jerusalem. Are we about to let something as puny as that car on the Beltway or the person who "steels" a parking space who hoped to use steer us off the path of salvation?


Who are our enemies? In today's world, where we have so much, those material goods may be the biggest obstacle we face to the love of God -- not some other people in the world.

Just because someone has different political or economic views, they are not some Herod-like enemy trying to kill us. Yet in this super-charged geo-political, macroeconomic arena, sometimes we mistake different viewpoints for an almost cult-like attempt to demonize those who hold differing views. This behavior can then get translated down to the micro-personal level on Facebook, Twitter or the front seat of our car.

Sometimes we portray those who make us angry as the enemy? Who makes us angry? Why do they do that to us? The first culprit here is the person who hogs the road from us. Yet the selfish behavior of others is not an attack on us but rather their failure to acknowledge anyone else around them. They need to read a diver's manual, not the Sun-Tzu's Art of War or Machiavelli's The Prince.

People may get in our way -- but no matter what they do or say, people really are the way we have to overcome our emotional self and find the path to God.

We also get in other's people's way? Are you hindering anyone's path to God? Can you step aside today and let the other make way?