Jeremiah chapter 17 verses 5 to 8
1st Corinthians chapter 15 verses 12 and 16 to 20
Luke chapter 6 verses 17 and 20 to 26
The scriptures proclaim as blessed those who trust in the lord. But before we can reach the point of being able to place our trust in God we must become aware of our need of Him. There are some very real obstacles to this fundamental awareness. Jesus identifies some of them in the four "woes" in the gospel reading.
We who are rich by world standards, well fed and well housed are burdened with an ironic disadvantage... Namely that it is easy for us to conclude that we have no need of God. "God is for those who can't make it on their own."
Jesus warns us against such arrogance, reminding us that while prosperity, comfort, contentment and popularity are good in themselves, they also carry with them the danger of tempting one to self-sufficiency.
Most of us, as we mature in our faith, come to an appreciation of the transitory nature and value of health, possessions, and status. With this appreciation comes a heightened sense of the vulnerability which is at the heart of human existence.
The wisdom and understanding with which we were gifted at our confirmation prompts us toward the conclusion that we need God because without Him we are in fact nothing.
Lest this priceless morsel of wisdom wind up in the depths of whatever filing system inhabits our minds, we are urged by the same spirit to manifest that need by trusting in the reality of divine inspiration and providence.
I suggest to you that in practical terms this "trusting in God" can be reduced to a consciously developed habit of prayerful decision making and attitude formation. This is applicable to every area of concern including politics, business, family life, community relations etc.
Consider just a few random examples: the seeking of guidance in prayer before casting a ballot, before formulating a business proposal, before advising a client, a friend, a child or a patient. Not just taking time, as it were, to keep God informed of our intentions, but rather giving Him the chance and the time to ask us the questions that we might be avoiding. For instance: what are the values of this politician for whom I am about to vote... values in relation to the teachings of the gospel?
Regardless of personal prestige and profit, who stands to be hurt by this organizational or business policy / decision? Can it be truly justified in the light of the gospel?
Is my advice to this client the easy way out or am I prepared to challenge my client as well as myself with unfettered honesty, truth and justice?
What are this child's real needs? How can I be Christ to Him? How can I help her to be aware of God in herself and in me and to trust in Him and me?
Let anyone who wishes to develop a conscious habit of prayerful decisions and attitudes heed the words of Jeremiah. "Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals, blessed are those who trust in the Lord."