Commentary on the Gospel of

Nancy Shirley - Creighton University's College of Nursing



Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary


Today’s readings are extremely powerful and clearly present our relationship with our loving Creator. It never fails that the readings are just what I need and what can address the pain, the void, whatever may be going on.  I don’t always see it the first time but then time goes on and it hits!  The aha moment and it sinks in.

Today’s is that kind of reading – okay, sure, we have heard this before. 

And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

One of the dearest people in the world to me is struggling as she faces the serious illness of husband.  She is angry – feeling God has abandoned her.  Why pray – no one listens. As my heart is breaking for her pain, I reviewed today’s reading.  Clearly God is always there, and I feebly try to find the words to convey this to her. I think the challenge for most of us is understanding God’s time not our time.  Of course, as we age, we experience more and more losses -- our friends, our career, some of our abilities, and the most difficult of all, our beloved spouses – some become bitter, angry, and full of despair, yet some find even more solace in their prayers.  What makes the difference?  How do we help them open their hearts to God and feel His presence?

Amid all this, I had some serendipitous yet very soul-filling conversations with a colleague.  It began with noticing some books that were being read and striking up a conversation and then some discussions about resources for students.  Soon we were sharing views and experiences with God in our lives.  She presented a beautiful thought about us in our myopic worlds sitting with a variety of puzzle pieces in our hands, studying them, trying to make sense of them and figure how they went together.  However, different from when we put together a jigsaw puzzle looking at the picture on the cover of the box, for we have no picture to look, no way to know what the finished product should look like.  Only God has the entire picture  . . .  we stumble and think we somehow can finish it yet when we let go and let God the pieces will fall into the right places.  This brought us to a great discussion of TrusT. I shared what I have shared in reflections that TrusT begins and ends with the cross.

The next day, both filled from our conversations each left a token for the other with a note.  I put a TrusT bookmarker in her mailbox and she gifted me with a lovely puzzle.  I was still delighting in the conversation and my beautiful new puzzle when I picked my granddaughter up from school.  She was excited to show me her latest creation, her initial made with a collage of puzzle pieces!!  A coincidence?  I think not, definitely a God Wink!  How can I not feel that my God walks with me always?

So many songs to remind us, we are not alone (or in control of everything!)


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