Feast of Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902), Martyr.
Genesis 22: 1-19
Matthew 9: 1-8
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps 114.
I am particularly struck by the words in today’s Responsorial Psalm response. Over the past few months, I have experienced life-changing medical events which now leave me living with circumstances never before imagined. Pain, turmoil and uncertainty clouded the surface of my days, yet deep within, I could feel a presence, offering quiet assurance and remaining with me whatever came along. My life situation is forever changed. Now I walk differently with my God, trusting more deeply that what is now my current reality is liveable with faith, the support of others, and a lot of positivity.
Today’s readings have the theme of ‘keeping faith in situations that seem impossible’. In the first reading, we hear God testing Abraham’s faith with the command to sacrifice his son. Abraham’s faith is incredible, as nowhere in the story do we find him questioning God or refusing to do what is asked. In Matthew, a paralysed man is brought by his friends to Jesus for healing. This act, too, required great faith. In both stories, we see such faith rewarded: Isaac is unharmed, and the paralytic is healed. Our Passionist saint, Maria Goretti, displayed similar trust and faith.
Sometimes the situation changes, sometimes, it doesn’t. What remains constant is trust in God with us. Perhaps our invitation today is to reflect and ask ourselves: Have there been times when I’ve also been able to trust in the face of the impossible? What has happened in these times? Today, let us pray for the gift of deeper faith as we walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.