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Father Muench Says...

Seeing and following God’s plan for us

Feb. 5, 2014

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I want to make certain to tell you that I was thinking of all of you, suffering in the frigid weather, while I was in Florida.  The news of the weather up north came up in the news every day.  I prayed for you all – especially those who were suffering badly because of the weather.

While down south, I truly enjoyed a long walk almost every day.  One day I was walking along – really not thinking of anything in particular.  Then as I came to a driveway, a driver coming out stopped to allow me to pass by. 

As I hustled by, I noticed his license plate – it boldly proclaimed, “God has a plan for you.”  I must admit it stopped me in my tracks.  From then on – and I must admit even to the present – I have been wondering and praying about God’s plan for me.

I have heard this before – in fact, I have preached on God’s plan for us, many times.  Yet, on that day the thought of “God’s plan for me” – today and tomorrow and the next day – truly captured my attention. 

I know that I will discover God’s plan, probably in a very surprising moment when I least expect it.  I may be visiting someone or someone may call me on the phone – or something like that – and then a light will burst forth for me – the message of God’s plan will hit home.

I must always be ready to recognize God’s message. I must pray for a deeper trust in God so that I will always be ready. I must be unafraid to accept guidance and direction as coming from my God.  So, my prayer is that I will always be an open, trusting disciple of the Lord.

Recently, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis presented a message on the way Jesus brought his message to the world.  The Pope was speaking during his Sunday Angelus message to the people gathered in St. Peter’s Square. 
Pope Francis reminded us that Jesus chose as his first disciples not the learned scholars of his day but rather he chose fishermen.  Jesus entrusted the hope of building a future Church universal, to our surprise, to fishermen who prove to be very capable men of the north of Israel.

The surprise is that they were so successful – a true proof of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  They transformed this world as they brought Jesus and his message to our world.

This Jesus continues to profoundly influence this world right down to the present.  The lives of so many continue to be transformed by Jesus’ words.

Considering this, I have come to realize that Jesus has touched my life and will continue to transform me through many whom I would least expect.  Jesus has chosen as my guides, who show me God’s plan, many who are complete surprises to me. 

I do wonder who they will be in my future. Will it be something I will read or maybe a homily that one of my priest friends delivers? Or will it be a friend that reaches out to me   or maybe even a complete stranger who suddenly says something that changes my life?

As I look back over my life, I can easily recognize the many guides that the Lord has sent into my life, those who have carefully indicated God’s plan for me.  Yet, I must admit that I didn’t always recognize them at the time as being sent to me.

I have always known that one of the biggest influences in my life came from a priest that I never met – in fact, he died before I ever knew of him.  It turns out that he was the one who was influential in steering me to the Diocese of Ogdensburg.  I pray for him often.

So, “God has a plan for me.”  I am ready, Lord – I promise to listen carefully, to be constantly ready to notice everything. I ask for the grace to discover you direction, Lord.

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