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Pastor's Column

Like a Pen in God’s Hands

Pastor’s Column

3rd Sunday of Lent

March 19, 2017

Why was Jesus so attractive to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42)? Ironically, he told her everything she ever did. Each of us will have a similar discussion with Christ on the last day of our lives. Jesus will point out where we influenced someone to the good, as well as where we hurt someone and this is how it played out in their lives.

If only we could have this conversation now! Why wait until life is over to see which areas of our lives please the Lord and which need to be corrected? Isn’t the best time right now? If only Jesus could get through to us now, we would be much more effective servants for him. A deep examination of conscience: this is what we need. Examining my life briefly with the Lord on a daily basis is the best way to advance in the spiritual life, as well as to prepare for a good confession.

Where do we meet him? Of course, we find him in a formal time of prayer, at Mass or in the Adoration chapel, for example. But notice that the woman in our gospel is busy about her work when she encounters Christ. She has come to draw water. Christ meets her and converses with her in the midst of her life’s activities, and he wishes to do the same with us. When I have achieved a victory in patience, for example, I can speak to Jesus about it. He will encourage me to persevere in this virtue. If I have sinned, come to Jesus right away and talk to him about it, even before confession. He wishes to reveal to us the patterns in our lives.

What is holding us back from really serving God well in this world? So many of us lead unexamined lives. We go through life not really understanding how we appear before the eyes of God. We are all called to a mission in life, and one of the ways that God wishes us to fulfill this mission is by learning to live our lives and to make choices that are pleasing to God.

A good image to use is to see ourselves as a pen in God's hands. Right now, he wishes to write a beautiful story with you and with your cooperation, much as an author might use a pen when writing. But at times we can be the kind of pen that blots and skips and not the kind one would use for a nice letter or document. Still, God persists in using us, though he does desire to clean out the ink and fix that ball bearing that sticks and

skips; and he will if we let him. Otherwise, we are liable to leave as our life's work a document that is filled with all these ugly ink blots (self-will and unrepentant sin).

One day, my days to be used as a pen in God's hands will be finished. We each have only a certain amount of ink (time) to use, and we (usually) are not permitted to know precisely how much ink we have left. God will never put your pen down until that time, no matter how ugly the writing may be at times; but if we live an examined life and permit God to clean us out, especially through a good heart to heart talk with the Lord, by examining our lives thoroughly, going to confession and allowing him to act, he can do wonders with you, the pen he has in his hand right now.

Father Gary

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