Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
The Pharisees are asking Jesus for a sign that He’s God. Studying my relationship with Jesus, I realize that somedays I’m a doubting Pharisee. I only believe on my terms. I pray to God for something and am disappointed, maybe even angry when the answer I receive isn’t what I expect. God didn’t give a sign, didn’t give the right answer, so I turn from Him at least until the next time I need something.
St. Sharbul Makhluf was born in 1828. From an early age he was a prayerful child and entered the monastery at the age of twenty-three. In 1875 he was granted permission to live as a hermit. He spent the remainder of his life praying.
While researching him, I looked for that one miraculous thing that changed his life and those of the people around him. On initial investigation I concluded that there was nothing. So why was this man a saint?
Reading today’s gospel and contemplating Sharbul’s life, the light came on. He lived solely for God. His days were spent in prayer and ministering to God’s people. I’m guessing that during that prayer time he never asked for a sign, and if he asked God for something, he accepted God’s answer even when it wasn’t the answer he wanted. He listened to God, he lived for God.
I can’t become a hermit like Sharbul, but I can follow his example in other ways. I collect prayers. If I find a prayer that speaks to me, I write it in my prayer journal. I’m going to share part of one that says it all: “Lord, take what You want to take and give what You want to give.” Like St. Sharbul, it’s all about being open to God in my life.
In what ways can I be more open to and accepting of God in my life?
Lord Jesus, help me to be open to Your answers for my life. Take what You want to take and give what You want to give, and show me the way to accept Your answers no matter what.
Copyright 2017 Christina Weigand
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a teenager. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.