When life gets tough, situations look bleak and there do not seem to be any immediate solutions, it can be difficult to see how blessed we are. A world of constant terrorist attacks, computer hacking, out of control crime and global poverty can leave us discouraged and disillusioned. Then there are the personal challenges we all face in our families, friendships, workplaces and in taking care of our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
In the midst of life’s turmoils the Gospel reminds us how blessed we are to have with us the presence of Jesus who tells us to pray always and to not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). He tells the story of a widow who needed the legal assistance of a judge to help her deal with someone who most likely was trying to take advantage of her. At first, he ignores her, writing her off as someone not worthy of his attention. Against all odds, the woman uses her God given gift of persistence and keeps after the judge until he finally gives in and takes her case. In the midst of her misfortune, she recognized the blessing of her persistent nature and used it to help her through the difficult time.
We are all blessed. The ways we are blessed varies from person to person. In addition to the resources of material goods like money, food, clothes and shelter, we are blessed with such resources as intelligence, a good education, gainful employment, a sense of humor, patience, imagination, energy or courage. None of us has everything. All of us have something.
Every year as a parish we focus on how everything we have been blessed with is a gift from God. This is the foundation of the stewardship way of life. In the next weeks we will consider how we have been chosen and sent to bring the blessings of God’s love to the world. On the weekend of Nov. 5-6 we will be invited to consider what portion of God’s blessings we will share to support the work of our parish. The constant blessing of our lives is the presence of Jesus who does not want us to lose heart. The woman in the Gospel did not lose heart and used the blessing of her persistence to finally get some relief. May our hearts be lifted during these weeks as we discover personally and as a parish how blessed we are.
Together in faith,
Fr. Christopher Smith, Rector