Monday, June 29, 2009

Daily - 6/29/09

Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. These emails are usually for the next day's reading, but I couldn't pass up this occasion.

2nd Reading; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

6 For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.

8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth.

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: Matthew 18:13-19

13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


There's so much to say about these two, but I really didn't know where to begin. So I did what I usually do when that happens ... I punted and surfed the net. Thanks to Google, I found this.

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, let us recall that before these saints were shepherds and apostles, they were sheep and disciples. God was able to do great things in them and through them because they made a decision to surrender control of their lives and destiny to the Son of Man who is also the Son of God.

Jesus says “follow me” to each of us. It may mean making a change of career. It may mean breaking off a relationship that is leading us away from Christ. Or it may just mean doing what we are already doing but for an entirely different reason . . .achieving great things not to draw attention to ourselves, but to glorify Christ . . . seeking an intimate relationship no longer to take but to give. . . working not for the weekend, but for the kingdom.


I think it puts the missions of Peter and Paul in terms we all can learn from. If we can just follow their example and choose to surrender control of our lives to the Lord, He will work wonders through us.

Here's the thing about "giving up control" though ... it's not something that you do just once in your life, and everything is peachy after that. I've had to learn this lesson over and over again. I can "give up control" in concept, but I've learned that there are different elements of my life where I've been very reluctant to give up control.

In fact, this just happened yesterday. My son was cut from his soccer team, with no advance notice. I feel a lot of pain for him, and I feel a lot of anger toward the coach. Why didn't he let us know earlier? After the four years David played for him, didn't we deserve better?

And then I saw it. I'm mad because I think I deserve better. Once again, I was letting my pride take over the situation. So as I'm mowing the lawn yesterday afternoon, I think through how Christ would handle it. The answer is very clear, and I could even hear it in the voice of one of our priests. Humility, humility, humility. I'm mad because ultimately I think I should be treated better. That's the exact opposite of what Christ taught. So, I need to turn my pride over to God, give up control of this situation, and let Him do His thing.

It is so much easier to talk about this than to actually do it.

Here's a great thing I've learned the last couple of years. As I step back, it's always about Him teaching me lessons so that I become what He wants me to be, rather than what I want me to be. Each time I give up a piece of my life to Him, God always blesses me with spiritual growth. It happens every single time, and I'm sure it will happen this week. Now THERE's something to get emotional about!