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July 28, 2014

Reflection on Pope Francis' Evangelization Intention for the month of July

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Mission Statement

St. Joseph the Worker Parish is a diverse Catholic Community, which welcomes people from many different places in their faith journey and serves the Gospel of Jesus Christ through worship, education, social justice, service to the poor and engagement in community concerns.

Nuestra Misión

La Iglesia de San José Oberero es una comunidad católica diversa, que le da la bienvenida a gente de diferentes lugares en su jornada de fe y que propone cumplir con la Buena Nueva de Cristo Jesús a través de la liturgia, la educación, la justicia social, en el servicio a los pobres y entregados a las necesidades de la communidad.

How Can We Find Hope?

by Catherine Doherty

He told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart.... "Will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily." — Luke 18:1,7–8

It is the end of an era. The world news is such that it seems everything is falling apart, that it is in the throes of evil. My sense is that we are going to be very hard hit. How can we find hope? We are all free to choose good or evil, free to live the gospel or not, to say Yes or No to the Holy Spirit. But no matter what we have done or been, with God every moment is the moment of beginning again. On my windowsill is the motto: Expect a miracle. I believe in miracles, and in this case the miracle of prayer and of total, uncompromising surrender to God.

As we reach middle age and look back on our life, it at times appears to be almost meaningless. We feel that we have nothing to show for it in terms of success, of making good. All we see are mounds of clothing washed or dishes, endless pages of computer work, endless phone calls. They seem like a dreary highway with no one passing by. We doubt our vocation, the wisdom of God that brought us to this point. Doubt surrounds us at times like a London fog.

Or as old age comes upon us we look at our life and we don't find in it anything worth recording. We feel that we have been utter failures. That is the moment to look at Christ's life, which by human standards seemed to "end" in failure.

As we go along the road of our life, feeling at times almost hopeless, we are visited by Christ. (Luke 24:13–35) Somehow or other the resurrected Christ passes through the door of our heart without knocking or opening it. (John 29:19) He comes to us and we, like Lazarus, come out of the tomb of our doubts, fears, and pain. (John 11:41–44)

We are God's children, created to share life with one another. Can we not hold our doubts up against the heart of God and see with the eyes of our soul and heart how many people our lives have touched? Haven't we been called by God to witness by our presence wherever we might be and through whatever we might be doing?

When I look upon trust today, after a lifetime of experience, I understand better how tremendously difficult its practise is for people who have been brought up in pragmatism. The general idea seems to be to trust no one but oneself and to look after oneself, because no one else will. For many years, I've had a little motto: "God first, my neighbour second, and myself third."

Trust is a gentle, fragile offshoot of faith. It begins when reason, or the intellect, folds its wings and allows the wings of faith to open up. For trust cannot exist without faith. If I have faith in a person, an institution, a family, I will trust. Wherever there is faith there is trust. It is very fragile and very beautiful.

The first person we need to trust is God, the Holy Trinity. Do we question his ability to help us? We think that our everyday problems are our own problems, that we don't need faith or trust in God to solve them. We would prefer if at all possible to solve our own problems all the time. It gives us the sense of power, the sense of being our own master. We are willing to have God around and to trust him if and when it becomes quite evident that we cannot solve things by ourselves.

Trust demands the thrust of a lance into our hearts, leaving wide the wound of openness. (John 19:31–34) Since the Church came from the side of Christ, the bonds that unite us to Jesus Christ and his Mystical Body are always bonds of faith and trust.

Our contemporary generation may be smart and have vast experience but it has very little trust in the family, in marriage, in one another. We share the unimportant things but hide those that really matter.

To trust someone, and especially to trust the untrustworthy, doesn't seem at all sensible to us. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus Christ demands of us when he says: Pray for your enemies, love those who hate you. Give your life for your brothers, those who hate you and those who don't. (Luke 6:27–30) Very few of us have gone into the holocaust of his words, of trusting the untrustworthy.

From Living the Gospel Without Compromise by Catherine Doherty

Catherine Doherty (1896-1985), born in Russia, was foundress of Madonna House and a prolific writer and teacher. Her passionate zeal impelled her to pass on her faith in God, and she is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

Copyright: Madonna House Publications – With Permission under a Creative Commons License.