July 15, 2018 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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As I sit to write this, I’m trying not to think about the trials of this first week in our new house in a new state. My wife and I are first-time home buyers. Two of the included appliances have quit. The air conditioning also went out – and it’s only 98 in the shade. I’m far away from family and friends as my wife works a 24-hour hospital shift and our internet can’t be installed until the end of the week. “God?” I whine. And God replies, “Take nothing for the journey…except your walking stick and your sandals…” Isn’t that just like our Lord, to ask me (to ask us), to trust Him even, or should I say, especially in the day-to-day challenges? The bigger question that comes to mind is: “What is it that I need to content me – a working fridge or something more?”

Talk about challenges: The Lord calls Amos on a journey in the first reading when He tells him to “Go, prophesy” to a people who violently reject him. Amos didn’t want to be there in the first place. He was content as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. What a frustrating disruption to his life! Yet the second reading reminds me there is something bigger than our inconveniences at stake. Why do I whine when “through Jesus, God has given us every spiritual blessing”? Thank God for His Word because He reminds me again what really matters. He puts everything into perspective on a day I want to grumble. God invites me to encounter then share with others that only He can make “kindness and truth” meet. The truth being that He can change all bad to good. Only He can make “justice and peace kiss”, giving us His peace that passes all understanding as He makes all things right in our lives.

The answer to my current woes? Easy! J-E-S-U-S. Through Him, today’s Scriptures proclaim, we have what really matters, what really brings peace…salvation is near, forgiveness is ours. Healing is available. We have been chosen. We exist for His glory and we’ve been given the Holy Spirit as a first installment of His promises. We really don’t need anything but the hope of those promises that were fulfilled in our Savior. God’s Word today moved me past the broken appliances to the One who is hope for the broken. His “salvation is near”. Journey to Jesus.

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