I pray that this reflection finds you enjoying a fruitful Lent thus far.  We may only be one week in but I pray we have all had time to open our hearts and homes to the Lord’s loving presence and experienced His grace.

While I typically spend some time pondering the Sunday Gospel passage in my musings, today I want us all to spend some time considering the words of St. Paul to the Church at Rome.  The words taken from Romans Chapter 8 are among the most encouraging in any of Paul’s letters.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Let those words sink in for a few moments.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” These words can help put any problem, obstacle, pain or sorrow into perspective.  They remind us that we are in the hands of a loving Father who does not abandon His children.  These are the words that empowered the martyrs to face their deaths with confidence and, sometimes, even joy.  These are the words that can help us when everything seems to be going wrong in our lives or in the world.  “If God is for us, who (or what) can be against us?”

The real challenge of these words is to allow them to take such deep root in our hearts that we face all of life, the good, the bad and the ugly, with the utmost confidence knowing that regardless of how things may work out in this life, the ultimate and eternal resolution has already been provided for us.  The failures of this life, and even death itself, cannot destroy the love that God has poured forth into the world through His Son Jesus Christ.  It is this truth that is meant to sustain Christians, not only though Lent, but through every period of their lives.

I think about these words frequently, especially when I am facing a difficult decision or situation, and I have often used these words during the course of a funeral to provide some hope to those whose hearts are broken because a loved one has died.  They may not take away all earthly sorrow or pain, but to a believer, they provide a sure foundation to continue on in our lives because we know that God is for us always and everywhere.

In conclusion I’d like us to reflect upon the rest of the words from this portion of Paul’s letter: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

God never forgets His own.

In Christ,

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General