I long ago gave up believing in coincidences. I believe that everything that happens in our lives, happens for a reason. Over the weekend, something ugly happened. An adult took it upon himself to insult our eldest son publicly, Our son has become deeply involved, publicly involved in writing,speaking, going door to door and otherwise peacefully and respectfully organizing opposition to our local school board, which is pursuing policies that are serving to destabilize our public schools. Our son wants to enter the world of public policy and politics .After reading cruel remarks on a facebook page and in private emails to my husband and me, Greg told our son this is the price that sometimes must be paid for working for the common good. Our friends rallied around us with sweet phone calls, and homemade chocolate cake and wise admonitions to steer clear of the internet, where this whole effort at public humiliation was unfolding all weekend..
My friends reminded me that I had a meal to make for twenty homeless men who will be staying at our parish this week as part of a winter interfaith effort to house them. I have to deliver a huge serving of stuffed shells Thursday night. I had groceries to buy and tasks to do and that was much more real, they reminded me, than the late-night insults of someone with wounds I cannot begin to imagine and whose family I need to pray for.
So today I started cooking. Then, I read the gospel reading for today, too. And this is where my belief in the impobability of coincidences came shining through.
Happy are those who patiently endure trials, because, afterward, they will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.
No one, when tempted, should say, “This temptation comes from God.” God is never tempted, and he can never tempt anyone. Instead, each of us is lured, and enticed, by our own evil desire. Once this desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when fully grown, gives birth to death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Light, in whom there is no change, or shadow of a change. By his own will, he gave us life, through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of offering to him, among his creatures.