Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lent Day 29 - Work

Today is a "Mimi day" as my grandson Colton calls it. Every Wednesday I work from home. Around noon, I pick up Colt and Savannah from preschool and the afternoon is usually filled with building the bullet train track with Colt, playing Barbies with Savannah, swinging on the swingset in the backyard and a multitude of other activities they may be in the mood for! As I sit here with them both on my bed while they watch Thomas the Train on my iPad, I am feeling overwhelmed with God's graces. I feel so grateful . . . grateful for the gift of grandchildren I love so dearly; grateful for the ability to work from home when I need to; and especially grateful today for a loving husband who understands and appreciates the importance of having this special time with the kids every week. The work we do to support ourselves, our families and our faith communities, when done in honor of Christ, allows His Love to flow through us to those He has chosen to place in our path. 

In the Gospel today (John 5:17-30), Jesus demonstrates the importance of focusing on our work in honor of Him:

Jesus answered the Jews: "My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.

"I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me."

In Anne a lay apostle's book Staying in Place, she leads us to understand our work benefitting others will ultimately draw us closer to Christ:

"The most severe temptations will not sway us if we focus on our work, studying people’s pain and asking ourselves where love wants to go in the moment. The inevitable ups and downs of our experience as Catholics in the Church will not shake our resolve because we do not stare into the Church demanding something but stare into the people around us offering something. The sacramental graces of the Church sustain us along with our relationship with Christ in the Eucharist. Contemplation of people and their wounds will inspire us to give generously of all that we have."

Lay apostles, how do you approach your daily work? With dread or with joy? With love or with hostility? As Anne says in the above quote, remember people God places in our lives are wounded too . . . approach them with Jesus in mind. Follow the Lord's path with the same joy in service.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to continue to learn how to work harder at loving others and striving to be the light You designed me to shine.

God bless,

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