Today’s Gospel: Matthew 18, 12-14
Have you ever rebelled interiorly and became the sheep that wandered away from the Shepherd? The skeptic that sits through the homily fuming inwardly, “No one’s gonna tell me what to do!” all the while trying not to scowl?
I slid into an extended indolence. I dragged my family and myself to Mass and dutifully received the Eucharist. My stance was minimum compliance without full communion. The barriers were up! I knew what I wanted and was determined to get it. Soon every family member caught the malady of my attitude. Those were years of competition, not camaraderie. The six of us vied for the family resources of time, money and attention – acting out in six rampant ways simultaneously. Our relationships deteriorated until one day I cried out to God in frustration, repentance and surrender to his will. I was broken.
He gently picked me up, laid me on his shoulders and carried me back into the fold. He diverted our return route through a renewal movement and then back to my parish with renewed heart, mind and soul.
It wasn’t long before I was attending daily mass and two Bible studies. Our children emerged as leaders in Music and Youth Ministries. My husband and I began tithing and helped start a parish prayer group.
My rebelliousness of lethargy almost destroyed us. My attitude drove us far from each other and the Lord. One frantic cry of surrender thwarted the enemy and brought our broken family back into the fold.
Our faithful shepherd waits for our entreaty to heal our broken hearts as only he can. Then he sets us down in the midst of his loving fold.
When do I express my resistance to God’s will through lethargy?
Lord, help me to be open to your will even when I don’t want to follow through.
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Copyright 2016 Nancy HC Ward