Thursday if the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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By SOPHIE DRUFFNER
God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a burnt offering
on a height that I will point out to you.”
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
took with him his son Isaac, and two of his servants as well,
and with the wood that he had cut for the burnt offering,
set out for the place of which God had told him.
As my dad and I talked about The State of The World about a month ago, I reflected on how much God tests us every day. God’s testing of us used to confuse me. Why would he test us and make this world harder than it actually is? He already knows what will happen, good or bad. But then I came to understand that God doesn’t test us so He can find out how we will respond; he already knows. He tests us so that we can find out how we respond, and in our growing self-knowledge, become better human beings.
And so we learn through adversity. Adversity, for me, is being in a group of friends and having a different opinion than the rest of them on any subject, be it something serious or not. It’s hard to be different. It’s hard to see posts on Facebook or Twitter that come from different viewpoints than yourself. It’s hard to listen to a group of adults talking who seem to be of the general opinion that the world couldn’t get much worse. But then my dad reminded me of something he had heard in college: “We’ve read the book, and we know how it ends.”
Yes, we’ve read the book. Yes, we know how it ends--God wins! Can you believe that? All this time you may have been thinking that the State of the World is unchangeable and will persist forever. But God DOES win.
So next time you’re sitting around at the dinner table at some friends’ house, don’t talk about how the world is getting worse. Nothing will be accomplished, and you may find yourself reflecting on that conversation later when you’re feeling discouraged. Instead, schedule a time to go pray at an abortion clinic. Or volunteer at White Rose Women’s Center. Or go to adoration. Talk about inspiring stories that you’ve heard or ways that someone has helped someone else in the past week. Talk about happiness and schedule chances to make change.
In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a poem that reads:
On the street I saw a small girl
cold and shivering in a thin dress,
with little hope of a decent meal.
I became angry and said to God,
“Why did you permit this?
Why don’t you do something about it?”
For awhile God said nothing.
That night he replied, quite suddenly,
“I certainly did something about it.
I made you.”
In each of us there is a light. The light enables us to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance in talking to people who share different beliefs than us about tough topics. Say a few Hail Mary’s then say “Come, Holy Spirit.” Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to set the earth on fire. Remember? “I have come to set the Earth on fire. And how I wish it were already blazing!”
We must believe that there is a life after death, and that we were created for a reason. For me, confirmation of this comes every time I learn more about the human body--the biochemistry of it, how the heart actually beats through electrical impulses, the wonders of how scientists can target specific cells to try to cure a patient. We must believe that in the end,we will win. We must believe that we are here not to be passive observers of a world that has so much wrong with it, but to be active changers (as Notre Dame phrased it in a college interview: ”change agents”) and spread the true love of Catholicity a little at time. Have faith, just like Abraham, that everything will be perfect in the end. Have faith that the Catholic Church has endured for over two thousand years and no government, people, or war can destroy it. Have faith that you will set the Earth on fire. For no matter how dark the darkness is, it cannot quench the light.