Thursday, June 27, 2013

Everyone Who Listens and Acts

Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

The LORD’s messenger found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur, and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”  She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.”  But the LORD’s messenger told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her abusive treatment.  I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the LORD’s messenger, “that they will be too many to count.  Genesis 16:7-10 

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.”  Matthew 7:24-25

Give us the fortitude of Sarai to face whatever forces of abuse we encounter in the world.  Jesus, stand by our side as we endure, like you, the injuries inflicted on us physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  Holy Spirit, set us free from the desire to retreat back into our cocoon of protection so we can stand up to listen to the Word and act on it.  

Listen AND act.  Both parts of the command make up what we are supposed to do as followers of Jesus.  The listening part can be confusing and sometimes even confounding.  Put yourself in the shoes of Sarai.  She was told to return to an abusive situation.  There was no safe house for her escape.    No shelter for battered and abused women.  No home for unwed, expectant mothers. 
Sarai has no husband to protect her.  And the messenger of the Lord instructs her to go back to the bad situation from which she came?!

Listening and acting may be just as difficult and confusing for us today with mixed messages coming from all directions.  Yet, if we are to build the foundation of our lives on the words of ONE, may we use the words of Jesus.
Where are YOU coming from today and where are YOU going?  What message might the angel of the Lord deliver to answer you today?

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