As I was struggling to get a start on this post, my phone rang. It was from Ann, my very good friend and neighbor. She had a “present” for me. I was working in my downstairs office, so I had to take the stairlift up to meet her at my door. She was able to find some of my favorite yogurt, Siggi’s Triple Cream Lemon. My supermarket stopped carrying it, and since I don’t get around to other stores anymore because I am unable to walk the long aisles, I have groceries delivered. It was a pleasant surprise to find Ann had found this for me. This yogurt is one of the simple pleasures of life that I enjoy.
Yes, I know. You are thinking, “what does this have to do with today’s readings?” Well, the yogurt has nothing to do with it. But the love and friendship of Ann do! Ann’s friendship comes to me from God. I try to be there for her, and she tries to be there for me.
This begs the question we all must at times ask ourselves: is what we say, do, experience, share, come from God? Or do those things have another origin?
Have you taken notice when contemplating the things of the world, who or what makes the most significant impact on human life? I have. I have come to believe that the people and organizations that do the most good are those that come from God. The motivation in the hearts of these people is to uplift and care for everyone. Mostly to care for their wellbeing – which in the end will result in the care of the soul. Especially today. Look to the many “good news” stories and film clips we are seeing of people reaching out to make life a little better for those confined, or ill, lonely, or just in need of a bit of yogurt!
Gamaliel was right. If it comes from God, it will survive and make a difference in the world. I won’t be remiss in reminding you that the story from Acts clearly shows us that Jesus’ ministry, his words, his teachings of love have continued to spread and have lasted over two thousand years! This, in spite of the hardships his followers have experienced over the centuries; in spite of the evil that has, at times, tried to bring down the Church but have not succeeded. They were not “of God.”
But you and I are. Maybe not in perfection every day, but in the continued striving to make Jesus’ teachings our guideposts. Whether in easy times or hardships, cling to the words of Gamaliel, here paraphrased: “If it comes from God, it will not be destroyed, or we find ourselves fighting against God, instead of working with him.” All for the greater good and the glory and honor of God!
Jeanne Penoyar, an Accounts Manager at Diocesan, is a Lector at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Grand Rapids, MI. Jeanne has worked in parish ministry as an RCIA director, in Liturgy, and as a Cantor. Working word puzzles and reading fill her spare time. Jeanne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.