Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Week 25 (Year 2) Wednesday -- 24 September 2014

Readings: Proverbs 30:5-9; Psalm 119; Luke 9:1-6

The readings speak of two different kinds of trust in God. The reading from Proverbs asks God to arrange the circumstances so that I will not be faced with the temptations that come from being either rich or poor. If I am rich I may forget God, if I am poor I may curse God. It is one way of trusting in God, to believe that he will arrange things so that I am protected from such temptations. If he takes care of the circumstances, I will be able to manage, I will live well.

The other kind of trust is clear in the gospel reading. The Twelve are 'entrusted' with authority and power to teach and heal. They are to be grown up children of God, responsible and taking initiatives. They are not now to be dependent on God to arrange congenial circumstances for them. Rather do they trust God to give them a share of His Spirit so that they will be able to engage appropriately with whatever circumstances they encounter.

They are to be co-workers, sharing in the Lord's ministry of teaching, healing and casting out demons. They are not guaranteed favourable circumstances. Their dependence and trust in God is deeper. It is internal rather than external, to do with what they are becoming in their hearts and minds rather than with the external situations and relationships in which they find themselves.

Saint Paul speaks very well of this second kind of trust in his letter to the Philippians: 'I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me' (4:11-13).

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