SUNDAY GOSPEL LECTIO DIVINA RSS
“make straight his paths … The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth”
Perhaps this is where part of the expression, “The straight and narrow” comes from. That is the Christian way, they say. Yet, that has not been my experience. The Christian road for me is often winding as it meanders through rough terrain. When I think the Lord is calling me to take a straight shot to some goal in life, when I try to execute the plan, real life gets in the way and I end up going around obstacles rather than plowing straight through them. “The Lord writes straight with crooked lines” seems to be the more accurate saying. But what are we to say of this verse from Isaiah quoted by Luke? On our life journey, does God want us to take obstacles head on instead of going around them? Perhaps. Maybe he wants us to build bridges and tunnels instead of winding our way through the valleys, where we often get lost and stuck anyway.
As a map buff, I like to measure the distance between two places “as the crow flies”. That would be the “straight path”. But the terrain of the real world makes it nearly impossible. Is Isaiah being idealistic in saying we should make straight the path of the Lord? Is that even doable in real life?
With humans it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. All valleys are passable. The Lord makes a way where there is no way. If we think we can’t be resolute in living the Christian life no matter what obstacles come across our path, we are thinking the way the world does. The way of the world sees lack of money, public opinion, time, distance, what’s been done before, what’s never been done, and many other things as obstacles. John is saying that when our eyes are fixed upon the Lord, we start to see things the way heaven does and all these miniscule impediments become like pebbles on our path. The saints didn’t let anything get in the way of doing God’s will. With their eyes fixed on heaven, they knew what they had to do. Miracles happened as a result.
Gospel Lectio Divina, The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 21, 2021
“She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
It’s tough to tithe. Consider how tough it must have been for this poor widow to give all she had to the Temple. What faith it must have taken! Where would she get her next meal? How would she pay her taxes? This is an act of not only giving all her money to God, but all her hope as well. As Christ said, she gave her whole livelihood. She depended on God so much that she believed he would sustain her life. What a far cry my faith is from that of the poor widow. God has always provided for me, especially when I’m generous and charitable. And yet, I still hold back. I still don’t give nearly as much as I should back to him. The poor widow relied on God so completely that she was content to give up whatever she had just to show God her faith and gratitude for sustaining her up to that point. It would be interesting to learn what happened to this widow afterwards. She probably did not receive any great fortune here on earth. It is certain that she stored up great treasures in heaven, though.