The Spiritual Family The Work
How does God work ? Part II
God is at work where people believe
in many places Holy Scripture tells of people who believed and who acted in faith. That is why God could work in their lives and act through them. Let us reflect on one example of faith-filled action. Mark reports that four men brought a paralytic to Jesus (cf. Mk 2:1-12). It is assumed that Jesus was at Peter’s house in Capernaum. A large crowd was gathered in front of the house. It was not possible to bring the paralytic directly to Jesus. But these four men were filled with a firm and courageous faith. Therefore they took an unusual initiative, they climbed up and opened the roof. Through the hole they let down the mat. Now the paralytic was in front of Jesus. The four men did not stop at a “relative truth” (Mother Julia), a half truth. They did not say to each other: we cannot get near Jesus, let’s go home. Probably some people thought: Why do these men jump the queue? Why can’t they wait patiently like us? The faith of these men was appreciated by Jesus “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man: My son, your sins are forgiven” (Mk 2:5). Then He said to the paralytic: “Stand up! Pick up your mat, and go home” (Mk 2:11). The paralytic received a twofold healing: the healing of his body and the healing of his soul. He could walk again and was forgiven his sin.
Where there is faith, God is at work. There He gives life and resurrection. Supernatural faith is no mere feeling, it is a firm conviction: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). The person who believes does not lose his foothold. He does not doubt when he does not receive immediately what he asked for. The believer is active. He takes steps, his faith becomes manifest in deeds. The psalmist prays: “With you I can break through any barrier, with my God I can scale any wall” (Ps 18:30). The believer leaps over walls: over the walls of his thoughts and feelings, over the walls of obstacles, anxieties, negative experiences and all sorts of difficulties. When God calls, there are inevitably obstacles for man, there are the human ifs and buts. If we, however, let go of these ifs and buts and do what God tells us and what the Holy Spirit urges us to, miracles can happen. That is why Jesus says “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mk 9:23), and in another passage “Your faith has made you well” (Mt 9:22). Jesus had concerns that this faith would disappear from the world and only a merely human religiosity would remain. Therefore He asked: “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). Where people believe, God can work. Where there is no faith, He stands as it were powerlessly before human freedom in which man closes himself up. For this reason, Jesus prayed for the faith of Peter and the disciples. Mother Julia said: “We must do the faith, simply do the faith”. Religious emotions, fascination with words, edifying conversations and deep insights are necessary, but they are not everything. Even more important is the readiness to do what God expects of us “here, now and today” (Mother Julia).
God is at work where people love.
Paul tells us: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8:28). God works for good in everything, but there is a condition: love. If we are able to win the hearts of others with human love, how much more will we “conquer” the heart of God with a pure and strong love. Our Lady is a great model for this. Sacred Scripture does not report that she did “great deeds”. And yet she is at the head of humanity and brings about more than the greatest personalities of world history. Her name is not recorded in history books, and yet she has done the “greatest deed”. She loved the Lord, believed in Him and hoped in Him – unto the cross. Until the end of time she exerts influence on the heart of her Son, because she loved Him without the slightest doubt and without ifs or buts. She is the mighty intercessor because she is the great loving one. Her example teaches us: with childlike love we can obtain more from God than with the keenest intellect and with the utmost efficiency. The one who loves will also place all his intellectual and physical strength at the service of the Lord, but he knows the right order of things. He who knows about the power of love does not become passive or discouraged when he is tired or perplexed. We can always live with surrender and self-giving love – until our last breath. God is at work in the lives and through the lives of those who love. “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13).