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When I came to St. Clement years ago, my task was to fix up the place. It was badly in need of repairs. Before I could do anything—change a light bulb, redo a bathroom, take out a wall to enlarge a room—I had to get permission from my superior. He would ask the members of the community if they objected to my plans. Every time I would ask, someone would object: Bad idea, too much noise, worried about the dust, and how much is it going to cost? Needless to say, the job stalled. One day, I was before the top of the chain, that is, the guy with the money. I had to talk to him about the heating. Just as I got started, he put his hands in the air and said, “I don’t know anything about construction, but you do. I trust you. You don’t have to ask anymore. Just do what you have to do.” When he said those words, “I trust you,” it was like the shackles fell from my hands and feet. I felt that he just empowered me with new energy, zeal, and hope. I immediately sprang into action with my newfound freedom. I hired my father; I called old friends in the construction trade; I rallied talented people around me. When we were wrapping things up three years later, my father said to me, “If you ask a group of professional architects, they would tell you that this job should have cost millions, yet you did it for thousands.” My father told me this job was a “miracle.”
Imagine if you said to God: “I trust You.” The shackles would fall from His hands and feet. He could do great things. Take the miracle of the loaves in the gospel. If I were in this story it would have been a disaster. There I am holding five loaves of bread. I say to the Lord, “It just isn’t going to happen. We are not going to feed five thousand with five loaves. I know, because I have a little experience with the mathematics and in these practical matters. This is what we should do. We’ll put aside theses five loaves. They will be just enough for us. Then we will send the crowds away. Now that makes perfect sense.” The evangelist writing the story will conclude… “and Jesus could not perform any great deeds that day because Peter Grover could not trust the Lord with five loaves of bread.” The real story was, in fact, the disciples gave the Lord the five loaves, they trusted Him. Every great thing Jesus ever did began with someone who trusted Him.
Remember the story of Job? He had it all and one-day God took it away. At first, he accepted it, and continues to respect God saying, “If we can accept good from God, should we not also accept evil?” Yet, as time went on and after some conversations with his buddies, he started to question God’s justice. The scales of justice were not balanced, and he took God to court. God sent a whirlwind and He brought him into the divine courthouse to let Job present his case. Before Job presented his case, God said to Job, “Before you begin I want to thank you for giving me such wonderful suggestions on how to run the universe. Thank you for helping me to know how many gallons of water I needed to fill the ocean. And thank you for helping me to figure out how to get the birds to fly. Your suggestion about the wings was a great idea. And thank you for telling me how many pounds of rock I needed to build the Himalayas. Boy, was that a back-breaker, but thank you for helping move all those rocks. I also owe you a thank you for helping me figure out the distance between the sun and the earth. We don’t want the earth to be too hot or cold now do we? You bailed me out on that one. And thank you for helping me pick out all the colors in last night’s sunset. I can’t ask Fr. Peter because the last time he painted his room, it looked like pea soup. But not you Job, you know a lot about colors. Thank you for everything Job. Now, what was your complaint?” Job took his right hand and put it over his mouth. He did this because he didn’t need to give any advice to God or to tell him what to do. It was Job’s way of telling God, “I trust You.” That is a great way to pray. When I tell God I trust Him, all I do is take my right hand and put it over my mouth. This way I give God the freedom to do as He wills in my life. Here is the faith lesson. Whenever you trust God, know that something great will happen.Back to All Homilies