So one of my new year’s resolutions is to get my spiritual life back on track a bit, and one of the ways I plan on doing so is by actually reading the readings for that week ahead of time and at least trying to think of some aspect of them, that way I make my chances a little better that I’m not just going into Mass to go through the motions. In any case, here’s this weeks:
IS 60: 1-6
EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6
So I wasn’t exactly sure where to start, so I listened to the daily reflection on these readings on the USCCB website. There, the priest contrasted the fear in which Herod reacted versus the faith reflected in the Magi’s actions when it came to the news of Jesus. And it made me realize that I’ve been in both camps before in my own life.
As far as being faithful, I’ve had several instances that come to mind almost immediately. The Magi had received a sign in a dream of the danger of returning to Herod, and they heeded that message. For me, nursing school was kind of that same scenario. While returning to pre-med probably wouldn’t have resulted in me calling for a massacre of all infant boys, I had signs guiding me away. For one, soon after I got accepted into nursing school, I was having major anxiety about whether or not this was the right path to choose. At the time, I was working at the Catholic Center at the front desk. One Sunday, a friend greeted me as he walked by my desk to the chapel. Not really a close friend…someone you’d small talk with outside of church and give like a “Hey, how’s it going?” without stopping to actually hear the answer. Anyway, he goes into the chapel and a little while later, he comes back out with a slip of paper, and tells me he found this in one of the books and thought I might like it. I took the paper, and across the top, it read “A Nurse’s Prayer.” I was filled with the grace of peace, and never looked back since.
That’s probably my strongest example, but I have many instances of being guided by Christ’s hand and knowing I was where I should be with the grace of consolation I received: finding my job, buying a house…the list goes on and on.
On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of times where I lashed out in fear when I wasn’t nearly as trusting. Like before I finally came to terms with being gay and came out of the closet…I had this innate fear of rejection from my family, so I hid. My brother was the one that took the brunt of me pushing away because of the fact that he had the potential to be the bridge between what goes on with me and my friends and my family. I perceived that as a danger, and I constantly lashed out…to my regret. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to that story. My family accepted me with open arms when I finally learned to trust them, and now all four of us are closer than we ever have been before.
In any case, with this new year, I have this renewed motivation to not only remain faithful in hopes of receiving God’s grace, but to also pay Him homage as the wise men did. Which brings me to another new year’s resolution: For every one thing I decide I want to complain about, find three things in that same situation to be thankful for. I feel like this project will end up very interesting to say the least.