The 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time will be, beginning with this New Year 2020, The Sunday of the Word of God. In the Gospels especially we meet Jesus who found so many creative ways of describing the Father's will for us to have life in abundance now and in eternity. One day Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3: "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."
So, we can truthfully say that the Word of God, the Bible, is "God's plan to bring us into abundance of life on Earth and in eternity". This sounds wonderful, but on considering who and what we are, and into which state of awareness and condition of living we are hearing these words and "taking them in" to consider them; we begin to make some difficult observations....
1. There is a big "hole" in the middle of the human heart which no one call fill except God the Father with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When we expect other human beings to fill this empty place - which makes us feel isolated, alone, lonely, abandoned - it never works, because only God can fill our empty heart, mind, and soul.
2. This is not bad news or a tragedy... it is really good news... because God fully intends to "move in with us" if only we let Him, if we let Them, the Holy Trinity, make themselves at home in us. God made us this way so that we would become motivated to pay more attention to God and welcome the divine presence within us.
To this end there are many ways God has given us to help us open the doors of our mind, heart, soul, and body to the divine presence: in what comes next you will see words highlighted in blue and underlined - these are called "hot links" that when you click on them with the mouse pointer, they open up your browser which lets you go on the Internet to other websites, where you will find teachings and instructions useful for you:
See these links: the Holy Mass, praying with the Word of God in the Bible, the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Liturgy of the Hours, contemplating God and in silence "visiting with Him", praying in front of a beautiful holy image or statue, going for a contemplative walk, and much more about prayer and God.
3. We are also made for human companionship, but this doesn't work very well when we go out looking for companions, just like we do when we go shopping for things we need for ourselves or our home. People are not things that we can go looking for in order to find them. The opposite is true: we are the ones that others can find.
4. God's plan for companions to find one another is really quite simple... it is like fruit growing on trees. When the fruit become ripe, all living things are attracted: people, birds, animals, and insects. The goodness of the ripe fruit makes the fruit attractive. It is the same with us. We need to do what the fruit does - we need to welcome God's vitality and grace in order to grow, mature, and ripen. That we grow and become ripe is God's affair, his work, his worry, and sometimes his problem. Our part is to keep paying attention to God and all day long to make room for God and his love inside of us.
5. If we do this and do our best to put God first all day long and every day, then in time we will become "ripe" and others will be attracted to us and companionship will become possible between us and them. It is important not to worry or obsess about "getting" a companion; instead, we need to look around and begin to notice others more, to see what is happening to others around us, to notice when they are in need, and each day not to close our heart to others in their need, but rather to consider what we might do to help them or lighten their load, such as: to offer a sincere and heartfelt smile, to offer assistance, to get their groceries along with our own for a person that is house bound, and so on....
6. In the meantime, Dear Reader, you can look for opportunities to meet other people, such as "Singles for Christ" in the "Couples for Christ" movement. If you decide to check out this movement or any other, go just for the sake of finding out what is their purpose, and simply to meet other people. We all belong in community, and when others welcome us, it is a good thing. Just be careful not to allow any lonely feelings to push you to "go shopping" for companionship. Instead, do your best each day to live the five points listed above this one.
Please take this to heart and try doing these things, and then let me know how it goes....
Peace to you and your family.... Happy New Year!