“If we would trust in God we must first tear down the walls we have built up around our hearts that keep Him out.”
It has been said that mankind has only ever had one problem; we want to be like God. Which is another way of saying we have trust issues. The Catechism of the Church tells us that all sin is grounded in disobedience toward God and lack of trust in His goodness.
Perhaps it is difficult for us to trust God because we find it difficult to trust other people. We all have friends, family, or loved ones who have let us down when we were counting on them. As a result we are wounded when people we trust fail us in matters big or small. And to avoid being wounded again we begin to build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves. The problem is that those walls can keep God out of our hearts as well.
We know that we can trust God because God has proven to us that He is trustworthy. We were created to share our lives with God. To that end we were endowed with a robe of grace. When our first parents chose to disobey God, they lost that grace and saw that they were naked. That act of disobedience changed their very nature and were no longer fit to walk with God in Paradise. They, and all of their descendants, were exiled from the garden. We have been working our way back to God ever since.
From our first parents we have inherited our fallen nature. But even then, in the very beginning, God promised that this would not be a permanent state. God promised that He would send a savior who would free us from the darkness of corruption and the enslavement to sin.
On Passion Sunday, we recall the Passion and death of Our Lord because it is through these events that God has fulfilled His promise to us. The suffering of Jesus Christ won for us a definitive victory over sin and hopelessness. We bear palm branches today as a symbol of that victory.
Our relationship to God is always spoken of in terms of family and covenant. Throughout salvation history God establishes covenants with his people in an effort to create a place where He can live among us. A covenant is a family bond. A marriage, for example, is a covenant between two families. Through Jesus, God establishes a new covenant with us. In this covenant God has promised that he will never abandon us. No matter what we do, if we are willing to turn back to Him, He will always be ready to receive us in mercy, forgiveness and love. If we reject Him, scourge Him, crown Him with thorns, betray Him and crucify Him, He will continue to love us.
If we would trust in God we must first tear down the walls we have built up around our hearts that keep Him out. We must invite Him in, to transform us into the person we know we should be.
We have a King who keeps His promises.
Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith and the spiritual “hero’s journey” that is part of every person’s life. He maintains a blog at www.DeaconLawrence.org and can be reached at Lawrence@deaconlawrence.com