January 24, 2013 - Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 7:25 -- 8:6
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Mark 3:7-12

“Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” In other words, we have a friend in Jesus; we have someone on our side. We have a high priest who is constantly interceding for us before the Father in heaven, and our high priest is the Son of God himself. Sometimes, though, it seems like we are on our own down here. It does not matter whether we have been disappointed because God did not have us win the lottery or because someone died even though we prayed for their life. Either way, we have come to realize that we do not hold a sort of magic power over God. Sometimes we ask something in Jesus’ name, even something good and unselfish, and it is refused.

The reason for the refusal is easier to understand than to accept. Our relationship with God is not that he is a servant to do our will, but that he is our Father. We are like small children who depend on him completely, but he will only give us what is actually good rather than what merely seems good in the moment. A mature faith does not see our Father as a genie in a magic lamp. A mature faith has trust in the Father to provide the very thing we need, when we need it.

The Gospel today provides an example of how people were blinded to their true good by self-concern. Jesus has to teach from a boat off-shore so that the crowds do not crush him. Among these people there are surely many whose stories would touch our hearts, yet Jesus is not a sort of good-luck charm. We know that these people did not understand him. Where were they at the Cross?

Every one of us has a story. We all have disappointed expectations and tragedy in our lives. We could ask why God has not made our life easier, better, richer, or, worse, we could try to explain his will as if we could understand it. But there is something better out there for each of us: faith. We can simply trust that God does love us, that Jesus is eternally interceding for us. This does not make our life easier or more comprehensible. It does, however, free us from all fear. It does give us confidence in the plan of God for the world.