10 November 2015

St. John Paul II: 'God takes his time'


Section No. 5 of the Homily of His Holiness John Paul II  from the Eucharistic Celebration in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore in Maryland, USA on the 8th of October, 1995:

5. Today though, some Catholics are tempted to discouragement or disillusionment, like the Prophet Habakkuk in the First Reading. They are tempted to cry out to the Lord in a different way: why does God not intervene when violence threatens his people; why does God let us see ruin and misery; why does God permit evil? 

Like the Prophet Habakkuk, and like the thirsty Israelites in the desert at Meribah and Massah, our trust can falter; we can lose patience with God. In the drama of history, we can find our dependence upon God burdensome rather than liberating. We too can "harden our hearts".

And yet the Prophet gives us an answer to our impatience: "If God delays, wait for him; he will surely come, he will not be late" (Cf. Hb. 2: 3). A Polish proverb expresses the same conviction in another way: "God takes his time, but he is just". Our waiting for God is never in vain. Every moment is our opportunity to model ourselves on Jesus Christ – to allow the power of the Gospel to transform our personal lives and our service to others, according to the spirit of the Beatitudes. 

"Bear your share of the hardship which the Gospel entails": writes Paul to Timothy in today’s Second Reading (2Tm. 1: 8). This is no idle exhortation to endurance. No, it is an invitation to enter more deeply into the Christian vocation which belongs to us all by Baptism. 

There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us. And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection. This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.

Saint John Paul II
8 October A.D. 1995
Baltimore in Maryland