Sunday, February 26, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the Week: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” — Corrie ten Boom

At many hospitals, police stations, and other local sites, one can often find a sign at the door that identifies the facility as an “Infant Drop Off Site.” That means, if you have an unwanted baby, and you are tempted to do the unthinkable like throw the baby in a trash can, you can drop off the infant without any questions or consequences; the baby will be given safe haven.

In today’s liturgy, Isaiah asks what he suggests is an unthinkable question: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?”

Even if the question were just rhetorical, he refuses to leave it unanswered, because his answer clearly admits that it happens. If he were living now, he would say: “That’s why we have Infant Drop Off Sites.”

So he admits: “Even should she forget, I will never forget you,” says the Lord.

Following that description of God’s love for us, the Responsorial Psalm encourages us to have absolute confidence in God: “Only in God is my soul at rest.”

Then, a flood of images through words fills our minds and hearts. We are told that God is: “Our rock; our salvation; my stronghold; my hope; my safety; my glory; my refuge; my strength.”

Resting in God alone – and finding in him salvation, hope and refuge – these images evoke a clear sense that God means for us to have a relationship with him.

God is not simply to be adored or worse, feared, like the gods of ancient Rome, Greece and other places. He does not want human sacrifices, nor does he destroy us in whimsical fashion. No; he seeks relationship. He offers love and peace. He invites us to find rest and confidence in relationship to and with him; therefore, we need not worry what we will eat or wear or have.

Birds don’t worry. Bees don’t worry. Lilies don’t spin clothes. It is all provided. Seek only relationship – his kingdom; trust in his love.

St. Augustine once said: “Pray as though everything depends upon God; then work, as though everything depends upon you.”

In this phrase he gave not just a reflection but a spirituality, a way of living. God has provided. God has offered love and relationship. We need not worry, but we have been given minds, bodies and strengths to do what needs to be done to reap what God has sown for us.

It’s there. You’re in it. It’s already done. A mountain of worry will not bring about an inch of prosperity.

Jesus asks the question: “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”

And just as quickly he responds: “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them (food, clothes, etc.) all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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