Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Your Will Be Done on Earth by Me, Lord

By Beth DeCristofaro

Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming
furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire. … Then Elisha, filled with the twofold portion of his spirit, wrought many marvels by his mere word.  (Sirach 48:1-3, 12)

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8)

Icon of Christ,
Ivanka Demchuk
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’ 
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,

neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:9-15)

Both Elijah and Elisha, fervent prophets and admired fathers in faith derived their mighty confidence and deeds directly from God.  They did not waver even when asked to accomplish the “impossible” for they acted in God’s name.  Jesus offers his followers the opportunity to walk in their shoes:  God as their Father will enable them, us, to be mighty in faith and deeds.  God knows and answers all our needs, even that which we do not know that we want.  But neither the Father nor the Son ever promises that this zeal and trust come easy or is simple to adhere to in life.

It remains an uncomfortable journey on many levels to live an active, committed Christian life.  Comedian W. Kamau Bell showed me just how far humans can detour. For an episode of his new CNN show, United Shades of America, Bell took a trip to Arkansas—to meet with the Ku Klux Klan[i].  He interviewed several active Klan members and Bell, an African-American man, was invited to a cross burning.  Except that the Klan calls this a “cross lighting” and as part of the ceremonial, each Klansman touches his torch to the torch of the leader saying “I accept the light of Jesus Christ.” When I heard this I gasped out loud!  How is this in any way “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

In Cursillo, we speak of, we strive for, we hope to emulate Christ’s light.  In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus talks of forgiveness, putting our trust in and adhering to God’s will.  This TV show was so very difficult to watch as His Holy name was invoked for hate and power.  These divisive days in the US are reminiscent of the turbulent years in which Elijah and Elisha strove to turn the people of God back to God.  Can we, Catholic Cursillistas do the same today?

Every day I work with people in healthcare who cherish the preciousness of life as does my Cursillo community.  I am blessed to daily put myself into the Lord’s hands.  Recent events chill me.  Our country continues to be so violent.  Pray the words of the Lord’s Prayer several times, contemplating the divine message of God’s will before mine.  In what way might I be more authentically God’s light in a hurting, divided world? 

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