The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away – Bless the Lord!

Reflection for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Third Order Franciscan & Writer, Gordon Kubanek, P.Eng.

This reflection was originally posted in our October 18th newsletter

Everything in life is transient – even Covid19. In this week’s readings what “popped out” at me was a recurring theme that life is never the same. It has loss, then gain. Life has pain, then joy. Life has injustice, then justice. It seems that we are on a roller coaster ride that brings us up but also smashes us down. I don’t think this is what most of us really want out of life. We want calm, unchanging peace and prosperity and good health. Yet, we have these stories to help us know our God. Does God really want us to experience the lows as well as the highs of life? Well, given these few examples from the readings it seems so!

  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.
  • May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
  • The blind man said to Jesus, “Teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said, “Go; your faith has made you well.

The plain fact is a life filled with both joy and sorrow, illness and good health, as being God’s will is not a popular message among the Christians I know. They seem to only focus on the “good God” who heals, who unites people, who settles quarrels, a God who knows all and can accomplish all so that peace and love and joy flood through all the Earth. That is heaven. That is what our earth would be like if we only stopped sinning and stopped disobeying his commandments. In other words, they want certainty. Well, that has certainly not been my life experience and my readings of History show me that human lives and human cultures are truly on a mad roller coaster as described in our readings. Perhaps, rather than stopping the roller coaster, God’s message to us today is this:

“Put on your seatbelt! Know that I am your seatbelt. Life is a wild ride and through experiencing this ride you will come to know both the truth of who you are and who I am.”

Is that so bad? Perhaps we want simplicity and boredom and certainty. But perhaps God knows better than we do what is good for us. To grow in Christ we need to walk his path. First ignored. Then adored by the crowds. Then mocked. A criminal. The healer who dies. But don’t ever forget, in spite of death, or maybe, because of death, he rose again. We can only be reborn if we die. We can only know goodness if we have seen evil. We can only be empathic if we too have experienced pain. Life, the life God intended, IS a wild ride. So hang on, and put on your seatbelt – put on Jesus Christ!

Gordon Kubanek, P.Eng.
Third Order Franciscan & Writer

Published in: on October 19, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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