Heard a prayer today to the Holy Spirit the Fr. Larry Richards says will change your life if you pray it everyday and read the Bible. So tonight, I prayed this before reading scripture and writing my reflection…
Oh Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only do your will
So today on the Feast of St. Matthew, the lower than scum tax collector, the sinner that Jesus dined with, the one who immediately said yes to Jesus when asked to follow Him and the one who became one of the Apostles of Jesus, I love and honor you and give thanks to God for all the glory He has given you, please pray for us now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
My theme is mature manhood and by the grace of God, I am beginning to understand. As much as I say I am an open book, most do not know me. Scripture inspires me to share myself more openly when I write, but in face to face communication, I rarely have opportunities to sit with people and share each other’s lives. Most of it is my own fault. I like being alone with God. I do not reach out much for relationships. As I have shared before, I screwed up the greatest relationship one could have with my wife due to my infidelity years ago. As a couple, we just can’t seem to get past it so I accept the cross I have been given.
From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be great! I was a great athlete at every level I progressed at. I was a talented musician and in my pride, thought that I was as good as anyone in my heyday. No matter what, my competitive nature kept me fighting to be the best. The way of the world has always told us that this is good. Strive to be the best and since I did not make it to the top, I’m a failure. I have lived with this type of immaturity for almost all of my life.
But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.
So I lived my life wanting your grace, his grace, her grace, their grace and as much of others grace that I could get so that I could be great or even greater than the person the grace was given to. I have lived swimming upstream. The grace I have been given has not seemed to be enough for me as it has not gotten me to the top of the world, famous, known throughout the world for my greatness!
St. Paul continues saying in today’s first reading from Ephesians 4…
I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace
I really think I understand. Being great in the eyes of God begins with great humility and gentleness. St. Matthew possessed that and God has blessed me with this grace. I have become so much more patient and I am continuing to bear wrongs with great patience and trust in the Lord which brings me more peace than I deserve. I say that because I am at peace but I often see the one I have hurt deeply and love so much, not able to find peace in forgiveness. I am helpless because my words or desires to reach out are not received well.
So I will not be on par with The Beatles, Stones or Justin Bieber but I get to glorify God with the grace of music He has given me at Mass. I will not be in the Baseball Hall of Fame but for many years I was given the opportunity to coach others to help them reach their dreams. And tonight, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I thank God for this enlightenment. I am who I am and that is pleasing to God with the exception that He loves me too much to let me stay in this place. Lord, your will be done!