August 21, 2009

The Joyful Catholic / Rick Hermann

God wants you to trust in him each day

Rick HermannA mother was preparing pancakes for her two young sons.

The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.

Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.

“If Jesus was sitting here, He would say ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’ ”

Immediately, one brother turned to his sibling and said, “OK, you be Jesus!”

We can all recognize a little bit of that desire in ourselves, can’t we?

We all want to be first in line, first to choose, first to decide what we want.

While we know Jesus is generous and promises to give us what is best for us, we still want to choose.

We are afraid Jesus will give us a smaller slice of life than we want, or a distasteful portion, so we rush ahead of others to choose our own destiny.

In our reluctance to trust God, we often disregard others and bypass our own best interests.

But we should not condemn ourselves for distrusting God’s plans. Let us remember that Jesus, in his humanity, pleaded with God to be spared crucifixion; “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me …” (Mt 26:39).

Jesus was so afraid of his destiny that he sweated drops of blood. Have you ever been this anxious? Perhaps you are right now.

Still in the same breath, Jesus quickly opened himself to his Father’s will, trusting his Father to give him only what was most loving, most good, and most perfect; “… yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39).

By imitating Jesus, we can find peace in the midst of any trial or storm.

When we are afraid or worried about the future, we can find a quiet moment to ask God for exactly what we want then gracefully release everything to his perfect will.

You may say, “That’s impossible! Jesus is God but I’m only human. You don’t know the trouble I’m in!”

You are correct. In our fallen state, we all find it difficult to trust God. On our own, we grasp at pancakes.

You need God’s help to learn to trust him.

To increase our trust in God, we have many prayers to help us. “O God, come to my assistance, make haste to help me.”

Our most powerful aid in trust-building is the Eucharist. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (Jn 6:54).

His disciples complained that this was a hard teaching to understand, and many of them departed as a result.

But the disciples who stayed with Jesus discovered “the peace of God that transcends all understanding” (Phil 4:7).

They discovered that Jesus truly had their best interests at heart.

Then Jesus sent them out into the world to spread the Good News of eternal life. In effect, he said to his disciples, “Now, you be Jesus.”

So enjoy the peace and power of the Eucharist, in which we share the life of God. Pray something like this; “Jesus, I gratefully accept whatever you give me today.”

Open yourself to Jesus and let him come into your life more deeply every day.

As you develop your trust in Jesus, you will find yourself giving more joyfully to others.

As you gain confidence that God will give you everything you need, you will discover a secret delight in allowing others to go first, seeking what is best for them, and giving them what they need.

Then in quiet prayer, you may well imagine Jesus smiling upon you and saying; “OK, you be Jesus now!”

(Rick Hermann of St. Louis is a Catholic author and career coach. His e-mail address is

Local site Links: