I am a complainer.
I realized this (not for the first time) earlier this week when I noticed that once again the only thing I was texting my husband during the day was that one kid or another was whining, screaming, or hurting their brothers. I did mix in a few texts about being an awful first grade teacher and cabin fever just to keep things interesting.
As I sat and reflected on this week’s readings, I was profoundly challenged. In the responsorial psalm (one of my favorites), we hear “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Well, darn. I want all the time – I want just one moment of peace and quiet! I want Gregory House to be a real character who suddenly solves the covid pandemic! (can you tell I started a new series on Prime?) I want to see people again face to face! I want to GO to work! And I want very desperately for just one hour a day at the gym away from kids!
So, not a lot… just a few things really.
And then, we hear in the 2nd reading about Jesus: “When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.” Well, darn again. I may have lobbed up a few insults over the last six weeks… though I have not yet demeaned myself to echoing my son’s favorite “You are a stupid poopy face.” It’s coming close though. And I am handling my “suffering” with far less grace than Jesus demonstrated during real suffering.
So, I might have considered just skipping this Sunday’s reflection so I could stay comfortable in my weaknesses.
But then I would have missed the best part of the message…
We are not meant to be perfect. Someone already was, and He gave His life for all us messy, imperfect human beings who sometimes come close to calling someone a “stupid poopy face” in an act of utter desperation.
What we are called to do, however, is to trust that no matter what we WANT, God will provide us all we need. And if we pay attention, we might notice that God has indeed refreshed our soul a lot over the last two months in both big and small ways.
This week my Sunday prayer for you and for me is for the grace to utter the words “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” feel the truth of them deep within us, and let them guide us to a week focused on even the smallest hints of joy.