Grace to you!
After many months of praying for a particular intention, a woman who was losing her patience complained to a priest how she thinks God is silent to her prayers. While sympathetic of her situation, the priest shared the story of Abraham with her, showing that between the time God made a promise of fruitfulness to Abraham and the time Abraham had Isaac, his son, it was at least 24 years, not counting the time before Abraham left Haran.
The point the priest was emphasizing is that with God, time is nothing because the concept of time relates to us on earth. With God we are in what theologians will call the eternal now. God's promises and blessing happen in the eternal will of God, which isn’t determined by our concept of time. When God promised Abraham he will be the father of a multitude, God was promising what is to be at divine time since it is Divine Plan.
So if you are worried your prayer point is taking longer, be reminded that God is beyond time and God's will is the best. We have to be certain about this: It takes patience to see clearly that the finger of God is piloting the affairs even when they seem delayed or even when we don’t get exactly what we prayed for. We need faith to hang in there with God, who will supply our needs according to His richness in glory in Christ (Phil 4:19).
Consider what Jesus did in the gospel of Matthew 8:1-4. The leprous, who at the time of Jesus must keep a reasonable distance from everyone else so as not to contaminate them or transfer his sickness to them, cries out to the Lord. He had incredible faith in Jesus whom he called Lord. He pleaded for healing based on his faith in the Lord, proposing that if Jesus wills it, his Leprosy will be healed.
Of course, Jesus wills that every person be healed. This is the eternal will of God and has to take place in the eternal now, the appointed time. Not only did Jesus say yes to the man's indirect petition, he broke the barrier between the man and him, between the time of isolation and the time of reconciliation, by stretching out his hands to touch the man’s sore-ridden body, bringing healing to him. In the words of Pope Francis during his morning meditation in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on 26 June 2015, “Jesus closed the distance” between him and the man.
This is an incredible gesture of tenderness from our Lord, who wants all to be saved and come the fullness of life. The distance of time is closed insofar as we invite Jesus in. With the Lord, all the promises of God for us, his people, find their yes (2 Cor 1:12).
The same Jesus invites us to be healed, especially at the Sacrament of Mercy (Confession) where we receive spiritual wholeness and healing. The same Jesus breaks the distance and visits us with his tender love because he loves us. He also commissions us to be sources of healing and closeness to others who feel unloved and ostracized.
I'm praying that the Lord will stretch out his hands and heal you of your concerns. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 13: Gn 17:1, 9-10, 15-22; Mt 8:1-4]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.