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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"Behold, I make all things new“(Rev 21:5)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

A vision for the appointed time

By Thomas Jacob

We all want good things to happen in our lives, but often we want them to unfold in ways and in the time we believe are the best. Life is not always fair, and we do not always get what we think we deserve. Good is not always rewarded. Bad will not always be punished. What does this tell us about expectations? Are there lessons we can learn? King David prays: “Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch” (Ps 5:1-3). David demonstrates a commitment to remain close to God through prayer in the midst of adversity and not become a victim of circumstances. He is prepared to wait for God’s intervention for he has faith in the One who can handle them. God expects us to lay our requests before Him, and to wait in expectation for Him to act.

When God directs our paths, He sometimes leads us in ways that may not make sense to us so we are not always going to understand everything. At the time of Jesus the Jews expected the Messiah to be a military commander who would head a rebellion against the occupation of their land. Although Peter and the other disciples knew Jesus was the Messiah they failed to understand that He was a peaceful Messiah. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus said to Jesus whom they still did not recognise, “We had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Lk 24:21). On the day of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven the disciples asked Him if the time had come for Him to restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). So even after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them and taught them for forty days they still did not get it. Jesus had to tell them, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority” (Acts 1:7). It would take the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the apostles before they would fully understand. Today, this problem still haunts many. People turn their backs on Jesus because He did not help them as they thought He should. This problem occurs when we look at Jesus only from a worldly point of view with our own notion of what He should do. Jesus came revealing the Father’s plan for the world.

Where do we get the information that feeds and nourishes our minds? Do we take our understanding of the meaning of life and our values for living from the world or do we take our values from Jesus and allow His teaching to feed and nourish our minds? If we allow our minds and way of thinking to be formed and influenced by the thinking of the world we may end up on the wrong track like some of the disciples. What Jesus does for us is often not what we expect Him to do because our expectations are not His. He has something better, richer, higher, fuller, more enduring, and more complete in mind for us. The book of Proverbs says, “The human mind plans the way but the Lord directs the steps” (Prv 16:9) and “All our steps are ordered by the Lord; how then can we understand our own ways?”(Prv 20:24)

Many of us make the mistake of trying to figure out everything by ourselves. St Peter writes, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time” (I Pt 5, 6). Anyone who thinks they can be a self-made man or woman is cautioned by Jesus who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). Humility draws the help of Jesus into one’s life for protection. When we humble ourselves by saying, “God, I do not know what to do, but I trust You, to direct me” God gets into gear to help us. “Due time” is God’s time, when God knows we are ready, not when we think we are ready.

He does not always do things according to our timetable. Yet His Word promises: “For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay” (Hab 2:3). God causes things to happen at exactly the right time! Our job is not to figure out how and when it happens, but to let God take us across the finish line! You will be pleased with the results. Let God surprise you for He will do more than you expect as St Paul says, “Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen! (Eph 3:20, 21).

 
Divine Updates

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - drcsydney@gmail.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, has announced several English and Malayalam language retreats to be led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2018

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Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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