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Saturday, July 19, 2008

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Micah 2:1-5
Psalm 10
Matthew 12:14-21

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is god hiding?

"When the Pharisees were outside they began to plot against [Jesus] to find a way to destroy Him. Jesus was aware of this, and so He withdrew from that place." —Matthew 12:14-15

The popular poem, "Footsteps," expresses the anguish of the psalmist: "Why, O Lord, do You stand aloof? Why hide in times of distress?" (Ps 10:1) We look to God for help, and He seems to withdraw from us (see Mt 12:15). We are oppressed and in dire straits, and cry out to God for aid. Yet instead of strong action, God seems to do nothing and things get worse for us (see Ps 10:8-11). Why does it sometimes seem that God is withdrawing from us (see Mt 12:15) in our time of great need? Even Jesus Himself felt as if God had abandoned Him in His ultimate agony on the cross (Mk 15:34).

As the above poem mentions, Jesus is carrying us in these situations even though all we can perceive is that He has abandoned us. We feel like saying: "The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me" (Is 49:14). However, God's response to us is: "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you" (Is 49:15).

When Job in his misery questioned God's care for him, God did not answer Job. Instead, He granted Job something better: a vision of His glory (Jb 38:1). Job was then content in His suffering because He knew God was with him. Only after that did God restore Job (Jb 42:10).

No, God is not hiding. He is Emmanuel, God with us (Mt 1:23). Pray: Lord, "I do believe! Help my lack of trust!" (Mk 9:24)

Prayer:  Father, help me to be patient and hopeful in time of suffering. I will "hope in silence for [Your] saving help" (Lam 3:26).

Promise:  "I will endow Him with My Spirit and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." —Mt 12:18

Praise:  Only after years of praying could Joan see that her prayers had been answered throughout the years.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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