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Father Muench Says...

Focusing on trusting God

February 24, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

As this season of prayer begins, I have chosen trust as my Lenten goal – trust in God. Trust hits every part of life, doesn’t it? I vote for a certain person because I trust them. I buy a certain product because I trust the company that makes it. I trust my doctor because I have experienced such good health at the hands of this doctor, actually I should say at the hands of all of my doctors. So, added to this list: I believe with all my faith and trust that I will be watched over best by my God.

We – you and I – are living in a time filled with anxieties. I wish it would all be solved right now, but I still have faith and trust in God. I continue to pray constantly that this pandemic will end. However, I trust God and continue to believe that something good is going to happen. The challenge for us is to remain patient. I know that the future will not be as I personally imagine it. God has the plan.

So, let us begin by listening to today’s Gospel reading at Mass from St. Mark. This story tells us that Jesus and his disciples were traveling somewhere in a boat. The disciples were anxious. They had forgotten to bring enough bread for the trip. They had only one loaf of bread. Jesus realizes that they are disturbed, and he begins by speaking to them about the leaven of the Pharisees. The disciples are confused. They do not understand Jesus. Actually, Jesus is talking to them about the teachings of the Pharisees as leaven. The disciples think Jesus is referring to the bread. Jesus is urging them to only trust him. Jesus then reminds them how recently he himself had broken five loaves of bread and fed five thousand people with 12 wicker baskets of fragments left over. Notice the importance of the number 12 – a number that is important to the Lord. There are 12 apostles. There are 12 tribes of Israel.

So, as we start praying for trust in the Lord, we should take a moment to remember all that Jesus has done for each one of us. How can we not trust Jesus who has been so good to us? I am certain your list is as long as mine. Over and over God has actually saved me. I am certain that the Lord has been present to me to guide and lead me to avoid very unfortunate paths of life and to lead me down the good paths. Constantly, I consider that I have been saved.Jesus has shown me the way. How can I not trust the Lord Jesus?

What does it mean to trust Jesus? I often turn to the Lord in prayer. Something that is important to find life as a Christian is surrender. I have often been directed by spiritual guides who have helped me understand how important it is for me to surrender – literally, to put my life into the hands of the Lord.

Consider this, trusting God so much that I am ready to place my life into the Lord’s hands. I pray that the day will comes when I simply live in the guidance of the Lord with trust in God’s guidance. Surrender to God, and he will fill you with his Spirit. Only God can free us from our ignorance and sinful ways. When we surrender our lives to God, he gives us new life in his Spirit and the pledge of everlasting life with God. God wants us to be spiritually fit to love and serve him at all times and seasons. The great exchange – my life for His victorious life. What will you give to God in exchange for freedom and eternal life?

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