Gratitude to the Lord
Psalm 99(100):1 – 3 “Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence with songs of joy! Be sure that Yahweh is God, he made us, we belong to him, his people, the flock of his sheepfold.”
Joy and gratitude in the presence of the Lord and in the community of Faith, these are signs of consolation from the Lord. To discover that one is drawing closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to also find that the love for the Lord and His Church increases in prayer and at leisure and especially after times of trials and hardships all point to growth in relationship with God. The desolations that come along the way for the initial stages of life for a Catholic Christian who desires to grow in Faith, Hope and Love, should not discourage one from continuing the journey, for it is the moments we encounter the Lord and the consolations we receive that can help us stick to the resolutions we made in prayer. To a certain extent there is a need for discipline; however, the bulk of it is to rely on God’s grace, for we can be assured as the verses from the Book of Psalms above remind us to have our certainty that the Lord is God and we belong to Him.
Being grateful to the Lord, naturally one would want to witness and testify to the wonders that God has done in one’s life, as it is a prompting and inspiration from the Holy Spirit. However, at different stages of human and faith life, the way we share and express the joy of God’s work will mature as we grow in our lives. Provided that we persevere without allowing ourselves to fall due to negligence, we can pay heed to the instruction and advice given in St. Paul’s first epistle to St. Timothy,
1 Timothy 6:13 – 15 “Now, before God, the source of all life, and before Jesus Christ, who witnessed to his noble profession of faith before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to do all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who at the due time will be revealed by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords,”
To not fail due to negligence there is a need to remember to turn to the Lord in the midst of trials, tribulations, difficulties and temptations although it is understandable that as human beings we will sometimes fail due to pride, due to anger towards others or self and even at times anger towards God. However, we must remember that God loves us and will not want us to be harmed, for all things God does is for the good of us all. During times of difficulty we need to persevere in reading the Bible, attending Mass and frequenting the Sacrament of Reconciliation, being faithful in prayer. It is a challenge, but like a relationship with friends, we need to persevere in spending time with the Lord. We need the Lord to help us be mindful of His Love and His Law, as the following verse from the Book of Psalms says,
Psalm 118(119):18 “Open my eyes and I shall fix my gaze on the wonders of your Law.
Being the brethren of Jesus Christ the Son of God and the children of His Father, we should delight in the Law and Love of the Lord, because this is given us by His grace. Be grateful to Jesus Christ the Holy One, the Righteous One of God who fulfilled the Law and its demands to ransom us from the effects of sin and saving us by His Death and Resurrection. The reality of relationship with the Lord Jesus is that we always depend on His love and grace, and He wants us to be like seed in rich soil, as He says in the Gospel of St. Luke,
Luke 8:15 “As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.”
To persevere requires the acknowledgement that I cannot do it alone, but only with God, and God has called me not just to be an individual friend of His Son Jesus Christ, but to be an active member in His family the Church, and not just a member who is involved in ministries and communities, but one who is attuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, doing the will of the One who calls me, as Christ came to do the will of the One who sent him. To God the Father, and Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit be all glory and praise forevermore:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen