Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
There is a reciprocal relationship between what lays claim to our attention and what holds sway over our emotions. For example, the people we love are the people we often think about; our minds are also often preoccupied with the things we fear or which cause us worry. Given that Sarah had suffered repeated tragedy, it would be understandable for her to be worried about further tragedy, and perhaps to express this in her prayer. Given Sarah’s tragedies, it would be understandable for Tobias to be a little afraid and to express this in his prayer. And yet, when we listen to this lovely couple pray together on their wedding night, there is no mention of worries or terror. What is on their mind? Who are they thinking about? The God of their fathers, His merciful love for them, and their hope for a long life together.
This is why it is true that those who fear the Lord are blessed. (Psalm 128:1
) When our thoughts, our preoccupations, our emotions are centered on God then nothing else can disturb our peace and joy. When we take time to remember that He who out of infinite love created us continues to sustain us, and promises us eternal life, then there is no room for oppressive concerns about lesser matters. We become more rightly ordered, and so more capable of doing what we ought to do. That is why our Lord explains the priority of commandments by repeating, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart!” (Mark 12:29-30
) Our heart should be filled with love for God who is so full of love for us. There should be so much attention given to God that we have no attention for anything else except as we consider other things in relation to God. He alone is Lord, and we should be wary of any concern that seeks to dominate our attention more than God. May the Spirit help us to focus our minds and hearts on the Lord Jesus, and thus be truly blessed.
June 8th, 2017