6th sunday in ordinary time
13th february 2022
Year C – Psalter Week 2
The image presented to us in the First Reading and Psalm today of a tree planted by flowing waters is one of my favourites. Because the roots of the tree go down to the water, it can remain healthy and nourished even through periods of hot weather. It is an image of our relationship with God. When we are rooted in the Lord, we can survive and even flourish through all kinds of adverse circumstances in life.
The question is whether we truly trust the goodness of the Lord and his faithful love towards us. As the Lord declares through Jeremiah, ‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.’
Such faith and trust are put to the test when we do have to endure difficult times in our lives. While St. John, in his first epistle, can declare that ‘God is light, there is no darkness in him at all’ and that ‘God is love’, we are nevertheless easily tempted to begin questioning the goodness of God and his benevolence towards us. If we allow that lie to enter in, we can then allow our own hearts to turn from the Lord, as Jeremiah puts it in that first reading, and feelings such as anger, bitterness, resentment or even despair can take root instead.
One of the images that I find helpful when I simply do not have the answers to difficult situations, is that of life being like a tapestry. In this life, we only see the back of the tapestry, which seems confusing and chaotic. The Lord, meanwhile, sees the front of the tapestry, and so has the full picture. It is said that the most beautiful parts of a tapestry are often the ugliest when one looks from the back. The most supreme example we have of such a dynamic is the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus in this life opening the door to the eternal life of the Resurrection.
As God has the whole of time and history in his hands, and has only the most loving of plans in mind for each of us, the question that we should ask when He allows us or our loved ones to go through times of great difficulty that really test our faith, is ‘what good work is God doing through this situation?’
 1 John 1:5
 1 John 4:8.
A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, a blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
1 corinthians 15:12. 16-20
If Christ has not been raised, your believing is useless.
luke 6:17. 20-26
How happy are you who are poor. Alas for you who are rich.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children.