Daily Gospel Reflection for February 10, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:53-56

June’s 18 year old daughter, Christine was killed in a drunk driving accident. Chris had struggled with high school, but over the last two years, she worked and welcomed counseling and was able to pull her grades up to the point where she was accepted at Arizona State University, with tuition assistance offered. Alas, a construction worker with two previous DUI convictions put an end to the hopes that promised a shiny new future.

Bill and Lucinda had raised their own four kids, and due to a serious problem with the health of one of their daughters, Bill and Lucinda accepted two twin grandchildren into their home and raised them until they left for college. And needless to say, the grandparents were footing the bill for higher education for the twins.

My own brother Eddie was a popular piano player on the east side of Detroit. He was very close with, and supported our widowed mom. Eddie enjoyed a good circle of friends. One morning as he sipped coffee in the kitchen, his right arm started to tremble uncontrollably. The diagnosis was lung cancer which had spread to other parts of his body. He died at 46.

Where is God in these situations? Where is God in all the dysfunction that besets the world in which we see ugliness and unfairness?

Where is the Lord who spoke the words? “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Let us not kid ourselves in the least. Life is not easy, and in fact, the journey from birth to the entrance to eternity can be extremely difficult. But… but, the Greek word for ‘easy’ can be translated ‘well fitting.’ In ancient times, a hand-made yoke was made to ‘fit’ the oxen so as to be comfortable. It was made this way out of loving care for the animal on which the farmer depended for his livelihood. If we couple this image with the fact that a much greater work was accomplished by the oxen wearing the yoke than could be accomplished without it.

In this, we catch just a glimpse of ‘mystery.’ God’s plan exceeds any possible vision we have of what we are going through in our journey. Yet, if we look for them, we can find many stories of how life is beautifully and lovingly transformed after people have gone through painful, seemingly purposeless tragedy.

On January 24th of 2014, a movie was released that tells the story of a crushing meaningless experience in a 16 year old girl named Apple Bailey. The movie is called GIMME SHELTER and I highly recommend it. In it, you will see what Christians who have hope experience. Redemption and resurrection can happen in the blink of an eye, or over years, or between one generation and the next, or someplace between now and in eternity.

Ponder:

Have you had any experience of the resurrection in your life so far?

Pray:

Lord, help me to pray for the humility to believe and accept that whatever your plan, it is so much bigger than the vision I’m having today. Help me to put one foot in front of another. And follow the path you have given me.

Copyright 2014 Deacon Tom Fox

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About Author

Deacon Tom Fox and his wife Dee are co-hosts of the CATHOLIC VITAMINS Podcast for over 6 1/2 years. Tom has also been a member of the Catholic Mom columnists team for eight years, and was a regular contributor to the Catholic Moments Podcast for three years. Most recently, Deacon Tom has been leading a project to bring Catholic radio to the north central Arizona community where he and Dee reside. Blessings!

4 Comments

  1. Yes, totally! It began in 2003 with the death of my father and ramped up in 2010 with the death of my mother. Both deaths were very hard and quite different in nature and in the midst of it happening it was hard to see God and impossible sometimes to pray or even think. Yet since 2010 God has been laying out, piece by piece, my resurrection and transformation and the nature of it amazes me every day. It fuels me with gratitude and joy even when things are not going well. I trust now in His vision for my life. To paraphrase a Who song, “He can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles!”

  2. Deacon Tom, thank you for sharing such a wise perspective on what we perceive as suffering. When you are in the thick of it, it can be so easy to miss God’s gentle, loving presence. And that prayer!!! Claiming it today. Bless you for leading us in such a helpful reflection.

  3. My yoke is well-fitting makes so much more sense to me. There are times when I feel I must have done something wrong because it doesn’t feel easy. But in all situations, I can see that despite the difficulty I was/am experiences, the trial is well-fitting and will work to my good if I just trust.

  4. Thanks and blessings each to Kelly and Lisa and Susan. The lesson shared here is easiest to take to heart when we are not ‘in the thick of it.’ But if we pray for that acceptance now when (God willing) we are not in the heat of battle, it can help us later to more clearly see for miles and miles….

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