First Reading: Exodus 17:3-7
Psalm: Psalm 95
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Gospel: John 4:5-42
I sit here with jelly on my shirt because Grace had to be held while I made lunch. Sure, I could have put her down, but she was wailing and there is only so much crying I can take in a day. Plus, Will was sleeping since he got up with her at 5 a.m., so I think he deserved a bit of quiet before class and his research meeting.
It also gave me a taste of what life is going start feeling like - just Grace and me, keeping the house life going, while Will is mostly at work or sleeping. I've been spoiled by these past eight months of living in New Orleans - Will and I spend so much more time together, and I love it; but the time has come.
On Friday, Will found out that he got a job as an Emergency Medicine resident in Pennsylvania. We will be moving there in June so than he may continue his clinical medical training as a doctor, and we are simply over the moon! We are grateful! We are... continuing to be open to God's will for our family.
What does that even mean? Will likes to press to me. There is no way of knowing God's will; no empirical method of trust. In the first reading, God spoke to Moses while his people grumbled, and instructed him to strike the rock so that the people can drink. I felt a rush of emotions listening to this reading - who has not felt the familiar human emotion of anxiety? Nothing is secure; nothing is guaranteed - except the love of God.
But what of those who reject God? "If today your hear his voice, harden not your hearts," we sang. Our own thoughts cloud any wisdom God could give us if we would stop talking to him long enough to listen.
Listen?! Well, hear this, God!
We get angry when we feel disappointed, or shut out, or rejected. I trusted in you God - you didn't answer me. Okay, you answered, but I wanted a different answer.
Hope is what we humans must never lose. Hope in ourselves and our abilities; hope in others and their possibilities; and hope, always, in God. I love the passage in Romans 5 which says "we boast in hope of the glory of God."
My God is an awesome God. When Will and I were newly married, entering one more year of school for one more degree, pregnant, and living decidedly off savings, we had a lot of emotions. A lot of anticipation for the future; we clung to each other, trusting that we would both do what we needed to do. But mostly, we hoped and dreamed. We hoped moving down here would benefit us in the match: and it did. We hope getting married will help us two sinners get to heaven, and in the meantime, we hope to never give up communicating well, growing in love, and pursuing truth.
We do not boast of ourselves - we boast in the hope of the glory of God!
The story of the Samaritan woman hit me close to my heart. I think of all the opportunities I miss to spend time with Jesus. I get so caught up with Grace and chores and work, and then it's the middle of the afternoon, and I'm catching up on reading and the daily readings, trying to catch up with Scripture, slow down, and maybe eat a snack.
Today I felt thirsty, literally and for Christ. I felt like the woman at the well, going about her life, making mistakes but not really letting them sink in until she is face-to-face with Christ, who already knows. He forgives her and implores her to give him water, to be equally generous with him as he is with her. She is confused (and who wouldn't be?) and I love the way Christ pulls her in, planting a hope in her that makes her go back to her town and witness for Christ.
I love this testimony of Mark Wahlberg, an actor and a Catholic, who grew up rough, went to jail, and met Christ through a priest at the jail. He goes to church every day to start his day, and his words are just beautiful:
The Holy Spirit works with every person, drawing each closer to him, and when we unharden our hearts toward God - if we open ourselves to hope - then we too can say, "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."