Super-SOUL Weekend

     With teams from the huge tv markets of New York and Boston to play in this weekend’s Superbowl, projections are that this year’s game could garner the largest television audience ever.  Fans all along the east coast will be keenly interested in this year’s rematch of the Giants and Patriots.

     However, those of us who live in Louisiana, Wisconsin, California and places in between will not show the same enthusiasm as we would have if the Saints, Packers, or 49’ers were playing.  There might be a few Superbowl parties around, but I doubt that many of us will be glued to the tv from the kickoff to games’ end.  Just not going to happen this year!

     If we are not going to be engaged in the Super BOWL …. how about working on developing a “super soul” …. ok, ok …. a bit corny …. but …. n

     This weekend’s scripture invites us to look at three of the qualities that are needed to have a strong … or a super … soul.  All three readings deal with … ATTITUDE …. attitude, attitude, attitude …..

      First, we see our friend ….Job … not on a good day.  (Job 7:1-4, 6-7).  We hear him say, “Remember that my life is like the wind;  I shall not see happiness again.”  It is at the end of his rope …. he had faced disappointment, misfortune, and loss.  He believes that nothing good will come his way again.  God has deserted him and left him alone.  HOWEVER, we know the end of the story and we know Job does not stay in this place — in the midst of it all, somehow, Job renews his HOPE ….a strong soul is a HOPEFUL soul. 

      I have come to believe that most people who fail do so not because they are defeated, but because they QUIT … they give up.  Fr. Andrew Greeley has said, “Hope requires effort, despair does not.”  In other words, it is hard to keep going, it is easy to quit.  In faith, we do not always see a reason to keep going, but we do … because somehow we believe that things will get better …. we have hope that, even though we cannot see, things will be better.  Job listened to the voice of God and he saw not only his challenges and his struggles, but he saw what things could be like if he kept on living IN GOD and not in despair or defeat.

       Too many people live with the unreal expectation that everyday “SHOULD” be a good day or that there can be no bad days.  I have come to believe that if 6 out of 10 days are good, we are blessed.  There are bad days for the best of people.  If we have 8 out of 10 days as being good, we might just be knocking on heaven’s door.  Young people listen up:  there are going to be boring days, bad days, sad days  —- all are part of a GOOD LIFE.  If I or your parents have taught you to think that everyday is going to be fun, then we have not taught you the truth.  Job learned that and we will all learn that …. bad days, bad weeks, bad stretches are a part of life …. but we live in the hope, with the hope that better days are going to come to us if we live the faith and keep faith.

       In our second reading (1 Cor. 9:16-19, 22-23) St. Paul teaches us about the attitude of being UNDERSTANDING …. when he says that he has become “all things to all” he does not mean that he wavers from day-to-day to please someone else …. or that he compromises his beliefs to believe like those around him.  Instead, St. Paul teaches us that  … FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL … he stands in the “shoes of each person” to see life as they see life.  Before he judges another or makes little of what another says or does … he does his best to see life as another sees it. 

       People are so different from us … even our best friends do not agree with us 100%.  To expect someone to see things as we see things or to want everything we want … is unrealistic and leads to great disappointment.

        Finally, in the Gospel (Mark 1:29-39) Jesus teaches us about the attitude of FLEXIBILITY.  After dealing with a demoniac spirit, Jesus goes to the home of Peter to find out that his mother-in-law was ill.  He went to her bed and helped her up.  Then the disciples brought to him all who were ill … the whole town stood near the door of the house. 
        Then, when Jesus tried to go to a quiet place to re-group, the disciples found him and told him EVERYONE is looking for you …. can you imagine how much Jesus wanted to scream out …. PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!  Can I have just a few minutes of peace and quiet?” 

        We know, because we have all been there …. there is nothing left …. we have no more energy, no more desire to help …. nothing.  Then, someone asks for a favor, a little patience, or for a few minutes of our time!  Sometimes, a strong sould does what s/he does not FEEL like doing …. because, it is the right thing to do at that moment.  maybe in a different moment, it may not be necessary.  But, when it is necessary, we do it because of our love for God and God’s love for us … Pau, for the sake of the Gospel.

      Certainly there are many qualities of a super-soul.  Today’s Scripture show us three — to be hopeful, to be understanding, and to be helpful.  let’s try to make this a super week, by taking on these attitudes.

       Live in Hope …. and stay upbeat.

       Before judging, stand in the shoes of the other.

       How can we help those around us THIS week?


About thegospelforliving

Retired Catholic Priest - now serving the community as a paralegal and charter school consultant.
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