Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Remember the Marvels the Lord has done"

I prepared my homily this morning but neglected to look at the Responsorial Psalm and its antiphon "Remember the marvels the Lord has done." When I got up to proclaim the Gospel after hearing those words repeated between the verses of the psalm, I thought, "How appropriate!"

I'm in New York, at Fordham University, where we've just finished our annual meeting of the board of directors of the Apostleship of Prayer. In the morning I gave the director's annual report and Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J. followed me with his youth and young adult director's report which included videos and slide shows from our "Hearts on Fire" events. Having shared those two reports about the good things that we've been able to accomplish, we celebrated Mass with Archbishop Robert Carlson presiding. Thus, when I got up to preach, those words of the Responsorial Psalm resonated deeply in my heart.

We have much for which to be thankful and it is very clear that all we do is God's work. Our Mass readings today were just as appropriate as the Psalm Response. The story of Joseph, Jacob's son, and his brothers is a clear lesson that God takes what we do--our weaknesses, sins, failings, mistakes, and errors--and turns them into good if we let Him. So we can trust. That is also the lesson of the Gospel (Luke 10: 7-15) which challenges us to go forth with very little, trusting in God. It would be nice, I told the board, to have an endowment of a couple million dollars for the work we do, but not having one leads us to trust year by year on God's Providential care. Somehow, through the generosity of many good people, we can present a balanced budget to the board.

I get anxious about this. I breathe a sigh of relief when the annual board meeting is over. And I also hear the Lord telling me: "Let go. Don't worry. Let me handle things. Just offer yourself to me one day and a time and I'll take care of the rest."

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