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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Jeremiah 20: 7-9

Every day of my life—and especially in these waning days of summer—I breathe in the blessedness of being alive. I try to keep my eyes wide open to the glorious goodness of every normal day.

During these bonus years I’ve seen how true it is that nobody escapes the tragedies of life. Those who were on top were laid low, either through their own sins or just the changing trends in their fields. Witness the life and death of Blockbuster.

We’ve all had our hearts ripped open by the loss of dear ones, or the deaths of those who were dear to the people we love. You duped me, we might say to God. I’ve loved you, and this is how you repay me. It doesn’t work that way, of course. Loving God with our whole hearts and minds and strength (Deut. 6:5) is simply the way our DNA is set up. Point yourself in the direction of God and you will inevitably fall in love forever. Great joy, and devastating sorrow, will follow.

“If you want a happy ending,” said Orson Welles, “it depends on where you end the story.” If the story had ended with the resurrection of Jesus, we would look at the present terrors of our lives and feel utterly betrayed. But the Acts of the Apostles and the accounts of early historians lay it out clearly: every one of the Twelve met with martyrdom. Did they feel duped? The ancient accounts say they felt held by God.

So hold fast. Read the scriptures of the day in your missals. Attend Mass, virtually or in person. You have not been duped. You’ve been eternally embraced by God.

How have you reconciled the seeming paradox of the sufferings of life and the promises of Christ?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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