8 July 2016
One of the great joys we have in life is to cooperate with God. It’s both peaceful and empowering to realize that our God walks with us, and that we don’t have to go it alone. But, you know, in order to reach that deep joy and peace, we have to be able to say those words from Hosea: “We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands.”
In order to cooperate with God, we can’t worship “the work of our hands.” Instead, we want to worship what it is that God is doing. As much as Jesus calls us “friends,” and as much as he makes us his partners in his work, his work is—first and foremost—his. God and we are partners, yes, but unequal partners. After all, he is God, not us. We follow him; he doesn’t follow us.
And so, our prayer is always: “Thy will be done.” And we hear that in so many different ways. Saint Paul said: “It is now Christ who lives in me.” Saint John the Baptist said: “He must increase, I must decrease.” In the Agony in the Garden, Jesus himself said: “Not my will, but yours be done, Father.” And, of course, we know Saint Francis of Assisi words: “Make me an instrument of your peace.”
Our prayer as disciples of Christ is always: “Thy will be done.” The psalmist even goes so far as to say: “Lord, open my lips.” Usually we think of opening our mouths as something we do. But Scripture today asks that, even in our basic bodily actions, God will be the one doing them. And that’s pretty radical. But that’s also the gist of what our Catholic life is about: cooperating with God, being his instrument, letting him “run the show”—and being at peace with that.
And so, may the words we speak be Christ’s words. May our desires be Christ’s desires, and our actions be Christ’s actions. May our deepest joy simply be to say: “Thy will be done.”