Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why does the Lord test us?

"I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."(Jeremiah 17:10)
In todays reading from Jeremiah the Lord tells us He will try the heart.  We know that God is our Father and He loves us, so why does He send adversity upon us.  If we tell Him that we want to follow Him why does he put obstacles in front of us as we try to follow the straight path.  
Even St. Faustina found it hard to understand why Jesus would send adversity upon one of His servants trying to do the Lord’s Will.
[Once] when I saw how much my confessor [probably Father Sopocko] was to suffer because of this work which God was going to carry out through him, fear seized me for the moment, and I said to the Lord, "Jesus, this is Your affair, so why are You acting this way toward him? It seems to me that You are making difficulties for him while at the same time ordering him to act."
Write that by day and by night My gaze is fixed upon him, and I permit these adversities in order to increase his merit. I do not reward for good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for My sake.(diary 86)
We know that the message of Divine Mercy was one so important to Jesus and that spreading that message was critical in saving so many souls.  Therefore, if Jesus was allowing obstacles for Fr. Sopocko, who was trying to spread this message, one must stop and appreciate the importance of “the struggle of a soul”.  The merit obtained from such a struggle must have infinite importance to jeopardize spreading such an important message of Divine Mercy.  Maybe in the wisdom of the Lord the two are inseparable and to allow one message to spread without testifying to the other would be incomplete.  
It is as a jeweler polishes his fine treasures.  He holds them in the palm of his hand and gently removes all the dull surfaces so they shine without imperfection.  Likewise the Lord tells us,  “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"(Zechariah 13:9) 
While the Lord tests us he never gives us more than we can handle.  Although Mother Theresa was fond of saying that she wished God didn’t trust her so much.  
The Gospel of Luke today shows the struggle of Lazarus who begged at the doorstep of a rich man.  He was hungry and dogs licked at his sores.  Lazarus never seems to find relief in this life.  However, the rich man enjoyed all the comforts of the world without noticing Lazarus at his doorstep.  The Lord stays true to his promise, I will give to man according to his ways.  Lazarus is taken by angels to Heaven and the rich man is taken to Hades where he begs for a drop of water without relief.

This past Sunday we heard the transfiguration recounted in the Gospel.  From a cloud the Father says, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."  We therefore must listen to Jesus when He shares the story of Lazarus with us.  Our struggles win us a safe place in heaven.  Our soul has been polished smooth through adversity and with the choir of angels we are welcomed home with God.

Jesus, may we the children's rosary never lose site of Your love for us despite the struggles we may encounter. Amen

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