Sunday, March 19, 2017

With Great Anxiety

Intricate woodworking from the central
wood screen inside Abu Sarga, the
oldest church in Coptic Cairo where
St. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to stay for
about three weeks during their sojourn in
Egypt to escape King Herod.
2010 Photo from a family trip to Egypt.

“…when your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom.  He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever.  I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.” 2 Samuel 7:12-14A

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."  Luke 2:46-48


Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia

Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia

Joseph could have quietly broken up with Mary and we would be celebrating a different saint today.  But he did not.  Rather than seeking his own righteousness, Joseph sacrifices his own pride and ego and puts God’s plan above his.  In the end, Joseph overcame his fears about what people might say and accepted the words of the angel which were delivered to him.

In the alternative Gospel reading for today, Jesus gives his Mother another seemingly flippant answer.  I think I for one would have preferred if he answered he more like he answered the disciples in Matthew’s Good News:

Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
(Matthew 6:26-29)

However, Jesus got across the message of the primacy that needed to be devoted to God’s plan.

We are just hours away from the start of the Women’s 149th Cursillo Weekend (with two more weekend experiences to follow in early spring).  Mary’s words on this day are strikingly significant.  She could be a candidate at Missionhurst Friday night. 

“[We] have been looking for [Jesus] with great anxiety."

This might be a comment made Thursday night as the candidates gather with the team for the first time.  Or it might come out in Table/Group discussions Friday morning.  The candidates approach the weekend like Mary seeking Jesus and like we did…with anxiety. 

What will the Lord have planned for them?
How will their families cope with their absence?  And how will they cope with the changed presence after Sunday night’s closing ceremony?
How will their workplace, school or volunteer organization fare without their services for the extended period?

The candidates are coming to the weekend in search of something…hopefully, that includes a closer walk with Jesus.  Yet, they do not know what will be delivered.  Thus, their anxiety over the future.

Let us support these three upcoming teams – especially the weekend starting Thursday night. 

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