Today’s readings are from the beginning of Daniel and Luke. In Daniel, Jerusalem is overrun and desecrated by Nebccadnezzar, and he has chosen some young men to represent Jerusalem in his court. A bunch of them are sent to ‘training’, and fed from the king’s table. But Daniel did not want he and his Hebrew friends to eat unlawfully, so requested vegetables and water, rather than the king’s food and wine. He persuaded the king’s representative by saying ‘feed us this way for 10 days, if we look poorly, order us to eat differently.’ He did, and God let Daniel and his friends flourish.
In the Gospel we hear of Jesus witnessing rich people giving to the temple and the widow giving her two coins.
The common thread is that in both examples these figures trusted the Lord completely. We see many instances of this in Daniel, whether in the lion’s den or in the furnace. In the widow’s case, she gave all she had and trusted the Lord to provide.
Do we trust God completely today? No, we complain about this and that. Grumble grumble no raise this year grumble grumble president’s not giving SSI increase grumble grumble we have an imperfect president grumble grumble my back aches grumble grumble I have to commute further this year grumble grumble the cantor at Mass this morning was too loud/off key grumble grumble…and so on.
But if we look back, we can often see how God provided, and as we look ahead we should trust God to keep on providing. Last year, this time, I thought I should be earning more money, so I applied for several different jobs in my field, one at a county level. It would have paid significantly better than my base salary. Well, the county is broke now, and county employees are being forced to accept a day off every week without pay, amounting to a 20% reduction per person. That amount would be well below my base salary, and this year, because my company has laid off people, I’m working beaucoup overtime, and will earn about what the county job would have paid full time.
It’s easy to doubt that God has good things in store for those who trust him, especially if you’re one of the ones being laid off, or you’re the one who finds out you have a serious illness, or when you find out that your baby has Down’s syndrome, or whatever is going on in your life that seems bad or wrong. But we need to fully trust Him.
If we don’t, we’re just blowing smoke. God is fully in control of everything, regardless of when we want to get in the way, or fix things. We are totally dependent on Him, whether we want to be or not. But things will run much smoother if we let Him do things his way. Whether it’s taking care of the environment, birth control and abortion, government or how we use our talents.