Wednesday, June 07, 2017

God of the Living

At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window, poured out this prayer: "Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God! Forever blessed and honored is your holy name; may all your works forever bless you. And now, O Lord, to you I turn my face and raise my eyes. Bid me to depart from the earth, never again to hear such insults. Tobit 3:11-13

I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. Mark 12:27

Let us pray: God, surrounded by a culture of violence and death, it is easy to trivialize life. We hear the words “Respect Life” so much that the syllables seem to have lost their meaning in our society. As Tobit prayed, so do I – Punish me not for my sins. Instead, open my eyes to the needs around me so I may become your vessel for delivering help. Open my heart to new relationships with your and the world so that I may become your vessel for delivering hope. 

Tobit and Sarah are at their wit’s end. The turmoil in each one’s life has taken them to the point of not wanting to live…and they turn to God to ask for a way out. For Tobit and Sarah, they can only conceive of death as an escape from the pain and suffering that they are experiencing in life.

The wisdom Jesus gained at the right hand of God shows through again today in the Gospel. Jesus is never at an end of His divine wisdom. Repeatedly, the Sadducees have tried to ask Jesus trick questions to get the Lord to trap himself. Yet time after time, Jesus’ answer astonishes the crowd.

Jesus turns the tables on his inquisitors saying, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?” Jesus teaches that God is the Lord of Life, a God if the living, not the dead.

In their hour of greatest anxiety, these two lonely and afflicted people put their entire trust in God seeking a way out. However, human wisdom has its limit. They think that God has at His disposal the same options they conceive. However, they are to learn that the God of the Living has many ways to rescue us from our afflictions. Tobit and Sarah can’t even begin to imagine that their personal God will send His angel Raphael “to heal them both.” Tobit will see again. Sarah will love again. All because in their greatest need, they put their faith and heart in God’s hands. Even though their minds were as limited as the Sadducees, God shows us again and again that his love and wisdom are without limits.

Crisis feels different for everybody. Tobit and Sarah wanted to depart from the earth for their own personal reasons. Today, many feel this despair including members of the military service. Approximately 22 Veterans a day commit suicide. That nearly one person every hour.  Think about those words we say from memory in the Hail Mary.  "Pray for us sinners now and at the HOUR OF OUR DEATH." The hour you are reading this is the hour of someone's death by suicide.  

You can learn to recognize the signs of a crisis.  The emotions connected to such a crisis are caused by a wide range of situations before, during, or after military service. According to the Veterans’ Administration, some Service members are coping with stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or challenges faced during civilian life while others may experience difficulties in their relationships or transitioning back to employment or education. No matter the situation, a Military Crisis Line responder can provide support, day or night.

These messages go around on social media where people ask you to post this as your status.  I'm asking that you learn a little more about veteran’s suicide and share the phone number:

Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. 
Holy Mary, Mother of our God of the Living, 
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

No comments: