How can anyone ever say God has abandoned them? Our Lord has never abandoned His people in fact He is present with us at this very moment. Yes things might not be going the way we planned. Perhaps someone is facing a tough time getting a job. Maybe a family member is sick having a difficult time struggling with their illness. Times are indeed tough but that doesn’t mean we are left here all alone carrying a heavy cross on our shoulders.
As we heard in the very short reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child in her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you!” God has never ever forgotten us in fact it is quite the opposite, many times we are the ones who have abandoned God. When things don’t go right we have this tendency to turn away from Him. Yes we get angry, and we should its only natural, but what is unnatural is to turn our backs completely on our creator. I always find it funny when people ask the question where is God when things are not going well. The reason I find it funny is because don’t we take the time to read the Sacred Scripture. Doesn’t our Lord say in the Scriptures “take up your cross and follow me.” Our Lord has never promised us a life free from pain but rather He showed us even personally the road to everlasting happiness is the cross.
Why the difficulty? Why do we think that God has abandoned us in our darkest hour? It doesn’t make sense for us to say that God abandons us when we are hurting when He Himself embraced our pain and our suffering. There is a reason for that and the reason is that some have removed the image of Christ crucified not just physically from their churches, homes, and schools but also from their hearts and minds. We have taken away the very image that reminds us of God’s unconditional love. He loved us so much that He took on suffering for our sake. Right there is that very important image front and center directly above the tabernacle. It’s time we bury that wishy washy theology telling everyone “Jesus loves them” and “you are special” by telling them directly how much God loved them and showing them the very image which reminds us all of how special we really are.
Now what do we do if we struggle coping with the trials of life. Listen once again to the words of the responsorial psalm, “rest in God alone, my soul.” Place everything into God’s hands. Do not carry the burden of life alone. That’s what we try to do! Our Lord has given us all that we need right here to plug along through life’s journeys. Holy Mother Church is our Simon of Cyrene, for the Sacraments while they do not take away the crosses of life completely they make the crosses we do have more bearable. What the Lord promises us through His Church cannot be reached through the world. That is what Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “no one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” If one looks for God on the computer, in material possessions, on the television screen, one will find themselves extremely disappointed. God is in His Church and He is in each one of us.
Today the Lord encourages us put our total trust in Him. If one needs to be reminded of God’s sacrificial love place the image of Christ crucified in every room of one’s house. The image of Christ crucified is central to our Catholic faith and should be prominent in every Church, in every Catholic School, and in every home. Remove that image then when faced with difficulties one will not be able to stand up to the test. Come to Church, listen to His words, go to confession when needed, and receive Jesus Christ. He not only can help us carry the weight of the cross but He can also transform us. All we have to do is be open to it!