It ain’t over till it’s over.

July 1st Sunday Readings.

In game 6 of the 2011 World Series, the Texas Rangers were one strike away from David_Freese_on_April_30,_2010winning their first World Series championship. It was the bottom of the 9th inning and there were two outs. All the Rangers needed was one more strike or a pop up or a ground out. Their championship hats and t-shirts were ready, waiting to be distributed. The champagne was on ice and the Ranger’s lockers were being covered in plastic. 

Down 1-2 in the count, St. Louis Cardinal David Freese hit a line drive over a leaping Nelson Cruz for a triple scoring two runs and tying the game, sending it to extra innings. Immediately in the 10th inning the Rangers scored two runs to go up 9-7 and in the bottom of the 10th inning they were one out, one strike away from wining it all, again. But Lance Berkman hit a single that tied the game sending it to the 11th inning. 

Freese again stepped to the plate where he hit a walk-off home run that won Game 6 and sent the World Series to a Game 7, which the St. Louis Cardinals won. Twice the Cardinals faced elimination and twice they narrowly escaped to play another inning or game. 

Whether you were a fan of the Rangers or the Cardinals, Game 6’s motto was, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

In the gospel this weekend Jesus cures the dying (or dead) daughter of Jarius, a synagogue official. At one point, other officials from the synagogue tell Jarius not to “trouble the teacher” since his daughter is dead. Jesus tells him to have faith. 

The other officials want to throw in the towel, to give up, but Jesus shows us what faith can do. Jesus shows us what it means to keep the faith. Jesus shows us that it’s not over till it’s over for the daughter of Jarius and for us too.

When it comes to faith, it’s not too late for us. If you are reading this, it’s not too late for you. God hasn’t given up on us. As far as God is concerned, we are a game tying single away from changing everything and returning to him. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “I am what I am. I can’t change.” Or maybe you often say, “I’m not a religious person, God wouldn’t want me.” Or maybe you’ve thought, “It’s too late for me, I’ve made my decision about faith & God & Catholicism.”  If you’ve thought any of these things or sentiments like them, let me be clear – you’re wrong. 

The game isn’t over yet. You might feel like there are two outs in the bottom of the 9th and you are down 0-2, but know that even by the skinniest of margins, God can save.
More importantly, God desires to save you. God desires to be near to you. God wants you near to him forever in heaven, and it’s not too late. It’s not over yet. 

Live It:
Admit to God in prayer right now, “God, it’s not over, till it’s over. I know you’re not done yet.”

The Good Word for June 28th

note-4For the complete Sunday readings click here.

Have you ever been asked, “If there was one thing you could change about yourself what would it be?” Every now and again, I get thinking about this question. The funny thing about it is that 90% of the time the thing I would change is totally changeable if I was willing to do the work. It’s like if I just made a plan and then followed through on those action items, I wouldn’t procrastinate writing this blog each week (but I digress).

In the gospel this weekend we hear about two people that want to make a change in their life. However, they are powerless to fix their own problem. Jarius’ beloved daughter is sick and is near death. The woman with the hemorrhage has seen many doctors, and yet continues to be plagued by bleeding.

In their desperation they make a plan to turn to Jesus for his healing. They follow through on this plan; Jarius by confronting and begging Jesus, and the woman by secretly touching the hem of his cloak. In both cases Jesus says the same thing, it is the faith of those seeking to be healed that will save them. Jesus heals both Jarius’ daughter and the woman because they put their total trust in him.

When was the last time you really prayed for something and trusted God with it? If you are anything like me, it can be easy to think that God has bigger fish to fry than my stress or my struggle. But the reality is that God wants to be fully present in you life. God wants your complete trust and faith in him and his healing power. God wants to save you. The Greek words used to describe the “healing” that Jarius’ daughter and the woman received is the same word early Christians use to describe being saved from death and resurrected with Jesus to life eternal!

Whatever your cares and stresses are this week, even if they seem small and insignificant in the big picture, offer them up to Jesus. Give Jesus your worries. Trust that our God wants to heal you and give you a new life in him.

Live It:
Take a post-it note and write your stress, illness, or struggle on it. Then leave that post it not somewhere for Jesus to find. Say this quick prayer, “Jesus I trust you to heal me. I give you _________. Help me.”

Feel free to bring your post-it note to HNOJ and leave it somewhere here! If we find it, we will pray for you.