Thursday, March 22, 2007

Between the Grasshopper and the Ant

Work can be all consuming sometimes. We get so involved in what we DO for a living that we lose our perspective on who we ARE.

Jesus had no such problem.

His work on this earth arose completely out of who he was. This is never more evident than in yesterday's Gospel reading from John (5:17-30).

"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."


"The Son cannot do anything on his own," but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what He does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that He Himself does."

The gentle truth lies somewhere between the grasshopper and the ant.

Believing in God's love and care for us doesn't mean that we can forget about planning, struggle, labor, sweat and tears. But neither does it mean that we are called to labor endlessly in the vineyard, never lifting our eyes to heaven. There is no holiness to be gained by putting our nose continually to the grindstone.

Instead, our identity as God's children calls us over and over, daily, hourly, minute by minute, to ask ourselves, "what is the Father's work in me?" This doesn't mean that we are always working... for sometimes the Father's work is to go for a walk, enjoy a good movie, put away a few cold ones with friends.

If we are truly listening for the Father's voice, and the direction it provides, we will hear now and then the suggestion to come away for a while, to relax, to let go and let God.

I like the story from the personal diary of Blessed John XXIII, who was staying up late one evening praying. This was during Vatican II and all the concerns at Vatican II were truly trying the patience of the usually jovial Pope. The Pope was extremely frustrated. So he ended the day with the prayer/message to God: "It's your church, God, I'm going to bed."

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