O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trust in God for I Shall Praise Him Still

Passion Wednesday - III Class Feria
Commemoration of St. Hermenegildo, martyr - III Class
Missa Liberator

Epistle: Lev. 19:1,2,11-19 [The Commandments of God.]
Gospel: Jn. 10:22-38 [Christ knows His sheep and His sheep know Him.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

It's easy to get discouraged in your prayer intentions. You look around and see that no progress has been made. In fact, things have probably gotten a whole lot worse since you started praying. It feels as if your praying for nothing and wasting your time, but that creates the dilemma of what would you do instead? What could be a better thing to do in any situation than pray? Indeed prayer is the answer. God will take care of us even if it looks like He isn't. He is like the Burning Sun that illumines us and sustains us. When it's cloudy, we don't notice Him because the clouds are in the way. However, He is still moving through the sky, from East to West. Even though we don't see Him because it's cloudy or worse, a thick fog, He is still moving and will complete His task. That is what He tells us today: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them life ever lasting, and they shall not perish forever, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand."

Many times God works at the last minute. This is evident in the story of this blog's titular. Mother Teresa of the Annunciation was tasked by Christ to beautify the statue of Ecce Homo, decorating Him and building a glorious chapel for Him in the Poor Clare convent she led. Because of her vow of poverty, she was completely unable to accomplish any work whatsoever, except perhaps get a rag to clean the dust off the statue. However, Ecce Homo always provided funds, materials, and laborers for whatever project, often at the last minute and in strange and unexpected ways. A glorious chapel was built-in fact a series of them, each bigger than the last to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims. The statue has a huge treasury. His crown jewels are worth more than those of the King of Spain. He has multiple solid gold crowns of thorns and reeds. The cords binding His hands are woven of millions of pearls. His halo has thousands of gems. He has dozens of fine capes-one even made from the royal robe of King Joao V. The seemingly impossible task of a Poor Clare beautifying God's shrine to show forth the splendor and glory of the King of Kings was accomplished.

That is what this devotion shows more than anything else: the beauty and majesty of the King of Kings. There is no moderist iconoclasm out of regard for the poor, but rather the conversation between Our Blessed Lord and Judas is taken to heart. Judas, upon seeing the Magdalene anoint the feet of Christ with ointment costing 300 denarii (thousands of dollars in today's money), complained and said that this should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Christ immediately rebuked him saying that the poor will always be with us (i.e. poverty will never end or be solved) but He will not always be with us (a reference to His impending passion and that He should be thus glorified because of this passion). Christ suffered, humbling Himself unto death, so God greatly exalted Him. That is why we give Him glory in the architecture of churches. He has earned all this gold and gems because of His passion. In the statue of Ecce Homo, we see the pain of the passion and the glory of the victory it brings. In the statue's history we see how God will provide if we trust in Him.  He often works in unusual and unexpected ways and at the last minute, so we needn't fear just because we are not seeing results to our prayers. We shouldn't worry just because the Burning Sun is behind a cloud. He is still moving and is still taking care of you, even tough you won't see it until he passes the cloud. Trust in Him. He will not let you perish or be snatched out of His hand.