Thursday, April 15, 2010

Letting God take Control

Third Sunday of Easter Year C

If we examine the sources of our unhappiness, if we take a closer look at the reasons behind our feelings of anger and impatience, then we will discover a characteristic that is often common to all of us – the need to be control.

From the moment that we are born, each individual human person struggles to take control of his own life, his surrounding circumstances and even the people around him. The baby cries as a way of controlling his parents to feed him or give him security. As the child grows up, it learns new ways of controlling his situation- throwing tantrums, screaming, refusing to do as he is told, or even doing something nice for others so that he can get something in return. We adults are no different. We have developed different ways of controlling others – through our words and actions. We want others to change and when they don’t change, we get frustrated and angry. We can either scream at them or we can choose to give them the silent treatment.

We want to control our own lives, our destiny. We want to control the lives of our children. We want to choose the best jobs and the best spouses for them. We even want to control God through our prayers and penances.

The real truth of the matter is that we are not in control – we were never in control- and we shall never be in control. Only God is in control and we must allow God to take control of our lives and the lives of others.

These were the words of Jesus to Peter: “when you were young, you put on your own belt and walked where you liked” – in other words, Peter thought that he was in control of his own life. When he began to follow Jesus, he thought that he was responsible for this decision all by himself. His sense of independence/ self-reliance was shattered when he saw himself betray Jesus three times after Jesus was arrested. Discouraged and feeling as if he was a failure, Peter decided to go back to that same job which he thought he could do best – fishing. He still thought that he was in control. But even in this job, he fares badly – he fails to catch any fish. Only with the help of Jesus could he manage to catch fish.

It is the same with us. We must not grow to become so egoistic as to think that we can achieve everything all by ourselves. We must not be so proud to think that we are in control of our lives and our future. The fact is that we are not in control. The sooner we learn this, the better. We need the grace and strength of God. All that we do is done only with the grace of God. We must never forget this.

This is the true meaning of discipleship. We must put ourselves at the service of the Master. We must listen to Jesus and be always ready to do God’s will, not ours. We are called to follow him, to place our entire lives into his hands and let him take control of our lives.

During this mass, let us pray for the grace to be able to let go – to let go of the need to be control of our lives, to let go of the need to be in control of others, to let go of the need to control God and our destiny.

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