Two sides to trust

For me, the most iconic and descriptive words emanating from the Divine Mercy devotional is ‘Jesus I trust in You.’  It sums up the relationship that humans need with God. In reflecting on this line this week it occurred to me that there are two aspects to it. First, though we say it often – what does that proclamation mean for each of us? And second, what does it require from us?

Of course we offer to God our desire to place all our trust in Him.  We say to Jesus that we turn everything over to Him –we trust that whatever happens God’s will be done and we trust that He will take care of us. But have we ever taken a heartfelt look deep into this small prayer?

In His love God created us. Out of love He sustains us. He only wills good for us. He also has a specific plan for each of us within His salvific plan.  His designs are above our ability to understand fully but we do comprehend partially and so we need to trust in His plans. This is a very big jump for humans to take – unconditional trust; and though we offer this prayer to Him I wonder sometimes if I, at least, understand the fullness of the phrase.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman once said.
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.

I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place,
while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.[1]

This is about the best reflection I have read on ‘Jesus I trust in You’.  It is both reassuring and unnerving.  But, because of Christ’s passion and death for us I am comforted by His absolute proven love for me. And in light of His Resurrection I know He is God and He won’t let me down. ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.[2]

And so I trust in Jesus.

But a one way trust to someone who is all powerful and all loving is not what He desires in this relationship – in fact it isn’t a relationship at all.  Let’s turn it the other way.

In a homily this past 3rd Sunday of Lent[3] Pope Francis asked: ‘Can Jesus trust me?’ He said: ‘Can Jesus trust Himself to me? Can Jesus trust me, or am I two-faced? Do I play the Catholic, one close to the Church and then live as a pagan?[4] It is a question we should ask ourselves regularly.

He went on to say: ‘It will do us good today, to enter our hearts and look at Jesus. To say to Him ‘Lord, look, there are good things, but there are also things that aren’t good. Jesus, do You trust me? I am a sinner…’ This doesn’t scare Jesus. If you tell Him ‘I’m a sinner’, it doesn’t scare Him. What distances Him is one who is two-faced: showing Him/herself as just in order to cover up hidden sin.[5]  Our inner attitude towards God should be the same as the tax collector in the temple: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner![6] To help us we need to constantly reflect on our actions and words – nightly. God will always trust those who know their weakness and strive and pray to improve.

Brothers and sisters, as we close the octave of Easter celebrating Divine Mercy let’s remember the two sides of this beautiful devotion; two sides of trust: ‘Jesus I trust in You.’ and ‘Can Jesus trust Himself to me?’ Let’s strive to give God the answer that He gives us ‘Yes you can’.

——————————————————————–

[1] John Henry Cardinal Newman 3/7/1848
[2] Lk 23:43 (RSV)
[3] Pope Francis Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent (3/8/15) at Holy Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish Rome Italy L’Osservatore Romano 3/13/15 english edition.
[4] ibid
[5] ibid
[6] Lk 18:13 (RSV)

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