“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened…”. Given our present circumstances, God must be getting a lot of distress calls. The reason: The majority of people in the world are burdened.
We are suffering from anxiety because so many people have been infected with the virus. Some families have been touched by death because of the pandemic. We live in trouble times and we cry out to the One who has invited us to come to Him. We have certainly come to the right place. God is here for us and He listens to our voice. “When Oh Lord will the madness go away? When will you send us a cure for the darkness that has affected everyone?” Seems like God is just watching to see what happens. Because rather than getting better, matters have gotten worse. Are we not praying correctly? Are we being punished for our sins? There is no incorrect way to pray when we are sincere. There is no secret combination of prayers. We can rest assured that God will not punish us for our sins because then heaven would be empty except for the Blessed Mother. None of us gets what we deserve. That’s the essence of the Good News—the Good News that Jesus won by His passion, death and resurrection. We get a free ride, just because we are loved without conditions. Nowhere else will we find a better deal. And the supply of grace will never run out and there is no limit per customer. God will always out-do us in generosity. So what’s the issue? Why can’t all the worry just go away? Because the fallen nature of humans is to forget. We have selective memory. We forget that humanity has passed this way before.
There is nothing new. Long lists of infections have already threatened the continuation of people. Wars have also been the culprit of countless deaths. Speaking of war, we celebrate our independence this weekend. Our freedom from England did not happen without the shedding of a lot blood. Every birth comes with pain. Comparatively speaking, we are young country taking baby steps. Greatness is not measured by power, but by fidelity to God. At the moment the whole world is looking at us. Countries are looking at each other for answers, for help, for direction. What example are we giving? What kind of witness is manifested by our actions? Nothing that we do can change history. The past can never be changed. But we can learn from our mistakes. We can try to avoid making them again, especially in the way we treat each other.
We have made great strides since the days before penicillin, anesthesia, heart surgery. However, in spite of all our knowledge, we are still not in charge. God runs the universe. He is the Master. Pride keeps us from seeing the obvious. “…for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.” Only the humble will realize their dependency upon God, enough to know that we are nothing without His grace. Only the little ones are willing to forgive.
Folks who hold on to grudges cannot more forward, they refuse to be free. Forgiveness is the freedom we need to guard, to foster, to share. Freedom is not about, saying “our guns are bigger than your guns.” True freedom is about being happy with who we are—the good in us and acceptance of what needs improvement. The most dangerous battels are fought in the heart. Extensive amounts of people are not happy with who they are. Discontent is also contagious. Negativity spreads rapidly. Time to count our blessings. We have been given much, as individuals, as a community, as a country. On our collective birthday we take the opportunity to give thanks to the One who makes all things possible. We are grateful for our past, with the mistakes; for our present, given the challenges we face; for the future, which we pray will give birth to a better tomorrow.
Thank you, Lord, for who we are. Grant us a heart that is forgiving and help us to live by the words we say, “In God we trust.”