Monday, November 26, 2007

Why hold back?

On Sunday we attended Mass at a shrine nearby dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. The children’s choir was singing for the Mass and their beautiful, young voices reverberated throughout the Church, lifting our hearts in praise of Christ, our King! The Offertory hymn was riveting: “I surrender all, I surrender all” the clear, bell-like voices sounded not only in our ears but in our hearts! “I surrender all!”

I thought of that hymn as I meditated on the Gospel reading for today. It is the familiar story of the widow who gave all she had in the collection plate as she entered the Temple to pray:

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on." (Luke 21)

Surrendering to the Lord, giving Him everything, has always been difficult for me. “What if…” has always been my hold-out phrase. “What if I surrender my whole life to you and you ask the impossible of me? (e.g. I might get cancer, a member of my family might die!) aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh! Such thinking can drive you crazy and it is so unnecessary!

The poor widow surrendered all – she gave everything – because she loved God and trusted him to provide for her. And I have reached the point in my life where I am able, with God’s grace, to give everything as well. But I have to surrender each day and sometimes several times a day! The Father has always provided for me, He has given me my very life and it belongs to Him! How can I even think that I can hold back and not give him everything?
Lord, I pray for a deeper faith to believe in you and in your great love for me. Deliver me from the fear that holds me back from giving my whole life to you. Enable me, through your abundant grace, to surrender all, knowing that your will, your plan for my life is the plan that will make me the most happy. Jesus, I trust in you! Amen.

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