I love it when God responds quickly to my prayer, as it seems to reassure my doubtful side which questions God's existence. My prayers began last night after I erupted in thunderous fashion at my five year old's unruly behavior. Despite long talks on good behavior vs bad behavior, time outs and toys taken away, he persisted in a disobedient fashion and last night I just had enough. The mother of thunder unleashed her firey breath quite loudly. I think it went badly for both of us....seemed hopeless at the time so I prayed for some divine intervention.
In the wee hours of the morn, I read today's gospel reading (Luke 9:51-56), and wondered if I'd found an answer. Jesus and disciples traveled through Samaria, stopping in a Samaritan village looking for some local hospitality. Instead they were unwelcomed there, as their final destination was Jerusalem. The deep seated animosity between Jew and Samaritan reared its head. So the sons of thunder, James and John planned to call down a firey punishment, just like Elijah in Samaria many centuries before (2 Kings 1). Yet Jesus rebuked His disciples and moved on to another village. Later, He dies in Jerusalem for everyone, asking His Father to forgive them...
The online format of The Word Among Us had a wonderful reflection on this reading. It stated that we, in our "excess of zeal," begin to label people in our heads and out loud, convinced of our right viewpoint and their wrong point of view. We see them as enemies instead of just ordinary people. In contrast, Jesus modelled mercy and compassion even for sinners on the wrong path in life. He died for everyone's sin, even His enemies! Perhaps we could start a spiritual revolution by blessing instead of cursing our "enemy," and ask God to change both our heart and "enemy's" heart to ease misunderstanding, bringing God's wisdom to play in both our lives, to make the world a better place!
I wondered if that would work for an unruly five year old boy? I had nothing to lose, so in the words of Zechariah 8:21: Come! Let us go to implore the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of Hosts. This morning I blessed him, signing a cross on his head for good thoughts and behavior, on his lips to control his sassy words, on his heart to make him realize his goodness, and on each hand so they would be respectful of others. I prayed all day, praising God and sure enough, the lad had a perfect day at school! Thanks be to God for all His gifts, especially for Jesus, a perfect model of God's compassion and mercy!