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DIVINE PROVIDENCE
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 14th Week of the Year, July 08, 2013
Gen. 28:10-22, Ps. 90, Matt. 9:18-26


"Then Jacob made a vow saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God'" (Gen. 28:20-21).


Here we see how divine providence works. This is the Biblical faith, that God has all power to do all that he wants to do within his creation, and that, in fact, he is always working with us directing and guiding every detail that happens in our daily life. The God of the Bible is not distant from the world and its events. The Biblical God is not the God of Deistic philosophy who started creation off in the beginning and then left it to itself without any further intervention, protection, or government, as though it were like a clock which he created and wound up in the beginning and then left to work on its own by the laws he had given it. The Biblical God, on the contrary, is always with us. Nor does he only govern the world from a distance, concerning himself only with great national or worldwide issues. Rather, he is involved in even the smallest details of our daily life, and especially in the life of his elect, of his own people, of those who have received his special revelation and believe in him.


This is why Jacob prays the way he does today. He is on a long journey back to the land that Abraham came from, to the house of his mother's brother to take his daughter as his wife. He therefore prays for God's protection on his journey, saying: "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God" (Gen. 28:20-21). He prays for every detail of his journey, that God will accompany him with his presence so that he not travel alone, that he not lose his way, that God protect him from enemies and difficulties along the way, that he give him the food and clothing he will need on the journey, and that he return safe to his father's house.


A few minutes before this he had a dream in which God said to him: "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you" (Gen. 28:15).


This is how we should live as people of faith. Nothing is too small to ask from God. We should ask with faith for everything that we need in our daily life, no matter how small. This is how God wants us to live with him.


We should also pray for great and important things that affect our country and Church, for justice in our country and for our leaders, that they govern us well with justice and not contrary to God's laws. We should pray that they not impose upon us unjust and immoral laws; and if there are immoral laws, we should pray that God overturn them. This is how God wants us to pray. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks find, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matt. 7:7-8). "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:13-14).

 

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