Regarding Troubled Hearts

Regarding Troubled Hearts

At the sight of the crowds, Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)

It should be reassuring to us to know that Jesus is fully aware of all the things and the situations that trouble us, cause us much concern and even sleepless nights.We should never forget that Jesus is moved with pity at the sight of the divisiveness in which our country finds itself and all the flights from common sense and decency we are forced to witness—daily.

What troubles him the most? A few decades ago, he must have been disappointed that prayer is forbidden in public schools. But now, he must be troubled that schools have Afterschool Satan’s Clubs and Drag Queen Shows. He certainly shares our sadness, concern, and righteous indignation that so many preborn babies are destroyed as unwanted tissue and their body parts sold for experiments. He certainly shares our sadness, concern, and righteous indignation that the minds of our children are poisoned; that their innate innocence is violated, and their minds are exposed to issues inappropriate for their age; that they are groomed for exploitation. He certainly shares our sadness, concern, and righteous indignation that the elderly and the critically ill are being convinced that they are useless burdens to society. His heart is certainly wrenched noticing how numerous young people despair and choose death because they cannot see the beauty of life in their future. He must be very upset that his Bride, the Church, is hated so much; that people who live their faith with courage and integrity are spied upon, harassed, intimidated, persecuted; that traditional family values are ridiculed and frowned upon. 

Yet, in his infinite empathy, the Lord forbids us to feel helpless, despondent and lose heart. Jesus’ compassion is not powerless and ineffective as ours often is. His is the compassion of one who has conquered all evils and death itself. It is the power that made the universe from nothing. It is the power that will make all things new. It is the power that softens some of the hardest hearts and enables them to set fear aside and share and care and sacrifice everything out of love.

He directs our sight to the abundant harvest of people looking for God, in total sincerity of heart, but have yet to find him. Instead of allowing us to sit idle deep in discouragement, gloomy outlook, and self-pity, he wants us to be his fully committed laborers in reclaiming minds and hearts, all created for finding purpose, meaning and joy in him.

If we hesitate to accept this crucial task of being committed laborers in his field, we have only to look at the mottled group of his first chosen ones, and to accept his invitation. Today, as back then, he intends to pick ordinary people who are flawed, confused, anxious, self-centered, troubled, and turn them into his industrious harvesters.

Noticing our hesitation, he whispers into our ears: “You shall be my special possession, dearer to me than all other people, though all the earth is mine.” (Exodus 19:5)

We should not try to deny our weaknesses, our concerns, and our fears. We are not to rely on our human resources but on God’s choice and predilection as we respond with a generous heart even while admitting our obvious constraints. We are God’s special possession, and we shall do all that we can to contribute to redress those wrongs that we find so offensive and harmful especially to our children, the next generations, as well as to the weak, and the defenseless.

The resurrection of Christ is that historical fact that assures us the greatest victory. We have only to offer to our conquering Lord all that we have, all of ourselves, our time, our talents, our resolve, our willpower. He will do the rest. We cannot stay by the sidelines of human affairs, especially after what is happening in our schools and with our children, while God’s abundant harvest rots in his field. Let us not forget that we are called to fight on the side of reality, nature, and the truth.

If we stop only for a few seconds, it becomes forcefully apparent that we cannot lose. Who and what can defeat reality, nature, the truth, and common sense? While by ourselves we will be defeated, with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Hence, we ask the Lord to grant us the same power he gave to his first group of disciples: we are determined to drive out unclean spirits and cure all kinds of diseases and every illness (cf. Matthew 10:1) ailing American society and affecting in a most negative way particularly small children and teenagers. Our Heavenly Father is bound to listen to our heartfelt entreaties and grant us that victory which, so far, is slow to materialize for our peace of mind, the good of our country and his glory.

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Written by
Fr Dino Vanin