8 July 2009 Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Genesis 41, 55-57; 42, 5-24; Psalm 33; Matthew 10, 1-7
Once there was a farmer who pleaded with God saying, “Lord, would you let me have control of the weather for one year? I think that I could raise a good quality of wheat.” The Lord agreed. “Just tell me what you want,” he said. The farmer said, “I want sun,” and the sun came out. After sometime he said, “Let there be rain,” and rain fell. For a whole year, the farmer had sun and rain whenever he wanted it.
When the wheat was tall and ready for the harvest, the farmer beamed with satisfaction, but when he cut the first stalks of wheat, his heart sank. The wheat stalks were practically empty. “What did I do wrong?” he asked the Lord.
The Lord said, “You never asked me for strong winds and fierce storms --- these are the things that make tall wheat strong and sturdy. You asked only for what was pleasant, that was your mistake.”
Many of our prayers avoid the unpleasant. We pray that God will not send us challenges; we pray that we won’t be hurt or encounter the person whom we are angry with. But our Morning Offering does not pray for what is pleasant, but offers whatever comes including “prayers, works, and sufferings” of the day in union with the “Holy Sacrifice of the mass” throughout the world. So we ask the Lord, “What are the challenges you are going to send me today?” By doing so, we welcome opportunities to grow, the way a good crop needs strong winds.
The Gospel tells us that Jesus called each disciple by name and sent them out to the lost sheep and to proclaim the Gospel. However, serving the Lord needs courage and strength. It needs strong winds. It needs the storms and strife. A good doctor underwent a lot of challenges; the more he encounters a difficult case, the better. The brothers of Joseph undergoes obstacles for Joseph to see the depth of their remorse. Our faith deepens in the midst of temptation. Pure gold is tested in intense fire. Diamonds are products of carbon that is subject to great friction and polishing. This is how God forms us to become true disciples.