Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection 10-21-22

29th Friday in Ordinary time, YR 2, October 21, 2022
Eph 4:1-6; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 12:54-59

The call to holiness is pretty tough, isn’t it? I mean, to live as a Christian like Jesus would want us to is very difficult. After all, we need to be pleasant all the time, not do anything wrong, and love everyone. Piece of cake, right? Well, if it is for you, I’d like to meet you as you are already a saint on earth. For the rest of us? We struggle every day. Saint Therese of Lisieux says, “You wish to scale a mountain and the good God wants you to descend; he is waiting for you low down in the fertile valley of humility.” She mentions this in the context of us striving for holiness, the desire to imitate Christ. But in order to do that, we must enter the valley of humility. This is where we meet God. 

God does not want you to climb a mountain to meet Him, He wants to meet you right where you are. If that means, you are at your lowest point, God will stoop down, even crawl into the hole with you if He needs to, to be there right with you. As you enter this valley of humility, you will experience several things, the first is God’s unconditional love.  As God comes close to you, He comes full of love for you. He will never abandon you and is always there, by your side, waiting for you to reach out. The second thing you experience is God’s forgiveness. Reach out to Him and ask for forgiveness, especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here is where you can pour out your heart and soul and be cleansed of all those times when we screw up. Next, you will experience the healing transformation God so desperately wants you to have. Your heart will move from a friendly love to a deep and total sacrificial love. This is the love God has for us, and the love we can give back to Him. 

In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians today, he calls them out. He calls them to enter this valley of humility and be transformed. And, in the Gospel today, Jesus also calls us to look at ourselves and repent of the things we have done wrong. He is asking us to examine our conscience and go to confession.  We cannot make it to heaven if we are in serious sin. St. Therese reminds us when we go through the valley of humility, it is only through seeking love from God, asking for forgiveness, and seeking healing that we can fully embrace the love God has to offer. Allow Jesus to work through you and bring that love to others with the fullness of your faith! 

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL