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A Treasury of Arkansas Writers Discussing the Catholic Faith
Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: September 26, 2020
By Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Blessed Sacrament Church, Jonesboro
What does God ask of us? In this ninth month of the year 2020, tons of stressful stuff is going on in our world, Church, communities, families and in our own lives. So, delving into what God requires of us may take courage.
Having the strength of mind or spirit — that enables one to face extreme difficulty, danger, pain and still carry on — is courage. And this year, we have seen or experienced an abundance of this.
Interestingly, the origins of the word, courage, contain “cor” which in Latin means “heart.” Therefore, doing something that takes guts, moxie or stamina, motivated from the heart, is seen as courage. To discern biblical courage, one needs to determine what motivates the heart: Does it come from good or bad? Is it motivated by hope in God? As Psalm 31:24 (NASB) states, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.”
The things the Lord requires of us encourage us to trust God, love God, place our hope in God, seek forgiveness from God and others, to love greathearted and faithfully our fellow human beings and to act justly with integrity toward God and all God’s creation.
Is God asking us to be inspired and motivated by the everyday courageous encounters Jesus had when he sought-out the marginalized?
He spoke at midday, to a woman at a well, who belonged to a different group (Samaritan). With his earthly background (Jewish), he was not to associate with them, let alone use anything in common with them, be in their area or even speak to one of them. Yet, Jesus asked her for a drink (John 4), and there started her faith journey with the Messiah. She was then motivated or prompted by the Holy Spirit, to share with others what Jesus had revealed to her. After that, they believed in him too.
Jesus ate with and mingled with sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor, the mentally and physically ill and handicapped, the demon-possessed, the homeless and the hungry. Do we have the great heartedness to be around, minister with and walk through life with the marginalized people of our day the way Jesus did?
Who are defined as the marginalized in the world? In our own minds and lives, how do we see and interact with marginalized people? Are we willing to get involved, encourage others and live the Gospel out in the open like the Samaritan woman?
One place in Scripture to find what God is asking of us is Micah 6:8 (NABRE), “You have been told, O mortal, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Let us delve into the life application of this verse.
First, we have been told, but one might wonder how well we are listening. Do we courageously open our ears and hearts?
Secondly, we have also been told what is good. Are we keeping in daily touch with God’s Word, cultivating it in our hearts?
Thirdly, the things the Lord requires of us encourage us to trust God, love God, place our hope in God, seek forgiveness from God and others, to love greathearted and faithfully our fellow human beings and to act justly with integrity toward God and all God’s creation.
This might mean we have to get out of our comfort zones. Dialogue and listen with others to get to know about their journey and experiences like Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
Holy Spirit, may we be graced with the courage to hear and to act faithfully upon what God asks of us each day.