LIVING GOD'S WILL by Deacon Tony Martucci
I found this note on the mirror of my bathroom as I was washing this morning:
Good morning, this is God. I will be handling all of your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day.
Who is in charge of your life? Who has control? When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say “Thy will be done.” Do we really mean that?
In the Book of Genesis, God tells Abraham to take his son Isaac to the mountain and to offer the boy as sacrifice to God. What father or mother would be able to do such a thing? God tested Abraham’s love for Him. He asked Abraham not to put anything or anyone ahead of Him. Abraham took Isaac, but he was far from happy about the sacrifice. “God will provide the offering,” Abraham told Isaac. And He did!
In the Mark’s Gospel, Jesus brings Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain where He speaks with Moses the great lawgiver of the Hebrew Testament, and with the great prophet, Elijah. Scripture scholars believe that they were talking about Christ’s coming Passion and Death. In his humanity, Christ needed to be encouraged and supported in what He was about to undergo. The Apostles were witnesses so that they could be supported after witnessing Christ’s passion and death.
Is it so remarkable, then, that we too are expected to love God above all else? The first Commandment given to Moses is: I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
When a scribe asked Christ: “What is the greatest commandment?” He responded, “You shall love the Lord, your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole strength.” God commands us to love Him above all else. This is the same test that He gave to Abraham.
How many of us are able to pass such a test, to trust God completely with our lives? When I was in high school run by the Society of Jesus, I learned many prayers of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. I still pray one of the prayers every day. It is the prayer of abandonment. The words are: Lord Jesus, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I am and all that I have, You have given to me. I surrender them to be guided by Your will. Your grace and Your love are enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, for with them I am rich enough and desire nothing more.
I have prayed that prayer nearly every day since high school. But there was a period of time when I stopped saying it. One morning as I was praying, I thought of the meaning of those words and I considered all that I am and all that I have. At that time, I had my wife, two young children, my job and our home. Could I really surrender my wife to God’s will? I struggled with that for a few days and decided that I could not give God my wife. I really love her and could not let her go. What would my children and I do without her? A short time later, I decided that our children were too precious to me to surrender them, so I kept them also. Soon, I felt I could no longer pray the prayer with sincerity, so I stopped for a few years.
Eventually, I remembered the prayer and thought I would try to pray it again. As I paused, thinking of my family, I considered: What would God do to them that would be harmful to their eternal destiny or to mine. Doesn’t God love them more than I do? How could my surrendering them to Him be a bad thing? Since then, I have begun each day again giving my life, my family and my possessions to God, and asking Him to bless all of us. And He has.
“Thy will be done.” Who has control of your life? You don’t. You cannot control your health, your job, the weather or traffic. You only think you have control. Learn to let go and let God be the center of your life and handle your all of your needs.
Remember the words of John 3:15- God so loved each of us that He gave us His Son, so that everyone who believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life.