Joy: Offering Ourselves to God

Joy: Offering Ourselves to God

October 18, 2020 | N W | Discipleship, Father Salvador, Joy, Prayer, Saints, Trust

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 18, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Is 45:1, 4-6 / Ps 96 / 1 Thes 1:1-5B / Mt 22:15-21
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Saturday, eight days ago, the first millennial saint was beatified: Blessed Carlo Acutis. He died just fourteen years ago. Blessed Carlo would say that his life’s plan was always to be united with Jesus. He spent a lot of time in prayer and, being afflicted with leukemia at a very young age, he could have complained to God why this was happening to him. Instead he said that the only thing we have to ask for in prayer is the desire to be holy.

Blessed Carlo has put into practice God’s living words in this Sunday’s scripture when Jesus said, “Give to God what belongs to God.” And what really belongs to God? The short answer is “everything.” Next Sunday’s gospel will give us a clear answer when Jesus is asked which commandment of the law is the greatest? And Jesus replies “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.”

What about praying for our needs? Of course we can and we should, because it shows that we trust God, because He told us to “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.” But He also told us to seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and He will give us all we need. He may not give us what we want but God, in His infinite wisdom, will always give us what we need.

There are so many things we want during these difficult times. We believe that every time we pray, God always listens. But we also know that God doesn’t always respond in the affirmative.

The parents, relatives, and friends, for example, surely offered many prayers to God asking for a cure for Carlo’s illness. They must have been devastated by the fact that God didn’t seem to listen to their prayers. Everybody must have been frustrated at the negative results of their supplications; everyone, that is, except for Blessed Carlo.

Last Saturday when Carlo was beatified, everybody was in celebratory mood. All the young people were especially happy because not only did they receive a great role model in Carlo but also an intercessor in heaven, whom they could easily relate to, because he speaks their digital language.

Blessed Carlo said, “Sadness is looking at ourselves, happiness is looking towards God.” That’s pretty deep for a 15-year-old. This line of thinking will also lead us to say that the secret of joy in the complete sense of the word is, as Jesus said in today’s gospel, to “give to God what belongs to God.”

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