Wanting God’s Will (Generally)
Thoughts on the Second Readings by Joe Frankenfield
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Be careful about what you wish for,” my uncle used to tell me, “you might get it.”
We say with absolutely certainty that God watches over us. We know that God loves and stands by us day in and day out. Such security buoys us in rough seas. Still, a caveat whispers in the back of my mind when I hear those assertions: think what you’re saying.
It’s certainly our faith that God is with us, creating us at every moment. It’s also certainly our faith that God creates what he loves and loves what he creates: us. But that would also be all of us. There’s the caution.
We want God to love us and our kids and our friends but do we want God to love our enemy and his kids and his friends just as much. Do we want God to care about our enemy’s welfare and dignity and hope as much as ours? Do we really think we see with God’s eyes when we assume that he’ll bless our enemy only after we’ve whooped him into submission?
Our faith acknowledges, sometimes begrudgingly, that God loves and is faithful to all people, not just the ones we think worthy. God loves my enemy of the moment, be that spouse, relative, neighbor, an opposing politician or a dangerous foreign national as much as me.
When we pray: Our Father, who art in heaven . . ., it’s instructive to stop and think to whom the our in Our Father, refers. When we take solace in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness and care for us, it’s enlightening to recall that God is equally faithful and caring of everyone regardless of how we judge them.
It’s always been a sobering thought that when I pray for the world’s welfare, I may be actually be praying for God to stop me from succeeding in my fondest goals. It’s a reality check.