Reflections on Sacred Scripture

by Cyndi Cain

Rejoice by Trusting in God

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in every prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4: 4-7

       On this, Gaudate Sunday in Advent, the second reading is one that we need to focus on, not just on this joyous Sunday, but every moment of our lives. It is also one of the most difficult undertakings we have because of Original Sin and our weakened humanity.

     In this letter of Paul to the Philippians (4:4-7), Paul is very brief, but he sums up all that we must do if we truly believe in Jesus Christ, in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

     Today the Churchís liturgy says: REJOICE!!! I wonder how many of us are rejoicing in our hearts for the spiritual gifts that have been given to us, and will continue to be given to us, and the abundance that will flow into our hearts and souls on Christmas Day? Or, are we all too wrapped up in anxiety of the coming holidays? Are we spending too much money, because we just have to get presents for all those people on our lists, lest they think poorly of us? Are we frantically scribbling out Christmas Cards, wishing we didnít have to do this chore once a year? Are we trying to figure out which relatives to visit, and which ones are to come into our home, hoping that all will be peaceful, knowing it probably wonít. Are we anxious, too, over the fact of Christmas vacation for our children from school? Do we worry about their boredom? Are we stressed to the max?

     If any of the above, or even a degree of any of the above mentioned scenario fit into your life, then reflect upon this reading and drink it in. This, God tells me, is one that is so very important, for it is HOPE and it is PEACE, and it is MERCY.

     Go now to God in prayer. Talk to Him. Heís listening. He always listens. Present everything to him. Donít be afraid to spell it out. Not that God needs us to spell it out for Him; we need to do it. We need to feel comfortable in talking one-on-one with God. When we donít, or when we stop, thatís when we get ourselves into deep trouble. Notice that St. Paul commends to us, through the Philippians, that we are to petition God with gratitude. That means acknowledging that Heís our Father, His Will is perfect; He will help, and our gratitude shows our TRUST in God.

     If we learn to Trust God in all things, from the most minute to the largest situation we can imagine, then we are garnering for ourselves, and for others, Godís Infinite Peace and His Infinite Joy .

     Rejoice and be glad! Do not let the troubles of every day life overwhelm. God lets happen to us what must happen, for our own salvation and the salvation of others. Heís got it all worked out. Our job is to believe, to trust, to love God. He comes to us as the Infant Jesus, tiny, helpless, but God nonetheless. He knows our weaknesses. Perhaps, to fulfill what Paul speaks to the Philippians about, we need to be infants in our hearts, so that God can be God for each one of us in all things.

December 1997