12th Sunday in Ordinary Time


By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

Our readings for this weekend are centered around our ability to trust God, especially when times get tough. Our first reading finds Job in the middle of his dialogue with God. In response to Job’s accusatory questions, God reminds Job (quite poetically) that nothing is outside of God’s understanding. But then the obvious question arises: if God is so loving and concerned, then why doesn’t God prevent such hardships?

It is the same question Jesus’ apostles ask as they are caught in the middle of the storm at sea: “Teacher, do you not care than we are perishing?”

Of course, we know that God does care, but how else do we learn how to trust? More specifically, how do we learn how to trust in love more than power?

History tells us that humanity’s default action is to control the situation rather than be transformed by it. However, we are capable of much more when we learn to trust in a power greater than our own. Thus, our task is to find the people that can help us put that to practice.

Perhaps it is fitting that this weekend is Father’s Day weekend. Admittedly, I was blessed, for my father is one of those men that embodies the kind of trust I am describing. He is far from perfect, but he is a man of deep faith and trust in God. At the same time, I don’t know many people who work so hard. He drilled into my brother and I that you do everything you can and then let God take care of the things you cannot.

There were several times when his trust in God was challenged. As many of you know, my mother has been sick almost all my life. I have many memories of hospital waiting rooms – some when Dad cried on my shoulder; and others when I cried on his. As capable as he is, he never had a problem asking for help from others; and there were many times when we needed it.

Looking back, I think Dad learned how to trust God by learning how to trust the people around him. For Dad, angels were not the cherubs we see in paintings, they were people like Pete and Debbie, Ron and Teresa, Carlos, Bud and others. I have no doubt that they would say the same about him – because trust also means letting others trust you, and you trusting in yourself. Perhaps after all that, we may finally learn to trust in God, our Father in Heaven.