God is Good…All the Time!!
The above phrase is truly fitting for us as we Americans celebrate our God-given gift of Freedom this 4th of July. God continues to bless us with many gifts, challenging us to be good stewards of those gifts and generous in sharing these resources with people “down the street” and “around the world”. As people of faith, we call out: “God is good…all the time!”
God’s goodness comes alive for us today as we ponder the Scriptures for today, Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. Our Genesis reading offers the touching story of Abraham as he faithfully sought to respond to God’s call to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac; the saga takes a welcome turn when the divine Messenger halts the sacrifice and acknowledges Abraham’s deep faith. Abraham was thus blessed to become the father of many peoples, part of God’ unfolding plan of salvation, ultimately accomplished in Jesus. Matthew’s Gospel story of Jesus’ multi-dimensional cure of the paralytic bespeaks God’s goodness in the forgiveness of sinfulness and the healing of illness and human limitations. The cured man was told to take up his stretcher and go home…to join the others in glorifying God who is all-loving. “God is good…all the time!”
Today, in the midst of the festivities and fireworks, the food and fellowship that characterize this celebration of Independence, we’re invited to pause and reflect – to be grateful for the goodness of God shared in so many ways, and then to recommit ourselves to lives that are faith-filled and other-centered. We may not be tested as was Abraham; our problems may not be as limiting as those of the paralytic – yet we are invited to proclaim God’s goodness in word and deed. With Abraham and Isaac, with the crowds that witnessed the cure of the paralytic, with the psalmist who shared with us the beautiful thoughts of Psalm 115: may we bless and glorify God, walking in God’s presence…all the time! Amen!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.