Hos 14:2-10 / Mt 10:16-23
Today’s gospel contains one of the most notoriously misused passages in all the Bible, and the chief culprits are the clergy. Jesus said, “Don’t worry about what you are going to say or how you will say it. When the hour comes it will be given to you.” It doesn’t take too much imagination to guess how that’s been used by preachers!
God has blessed every one of us with a broad array of talents and abilities, but many of us have accomplished less than we might have hoped for. There are lots of reasons, but one particular reason does stand out among religious people, and that is the inclination to say our prayers and then leave matters up to God. Think, for example, about the man who prayed for patience for 60 years and is surprised that he never got it. The same man wouldn’t think of starting a new enterprise without a business plan. Yet the fact is that across those 60 years he never once had a concrete plan for growing toward patience. Praying without using our brains is mere wishing and not praying at all.
God wants to be our partner as we grow toward wholeness, but He doesn’t provide curb service. We have to meet Him half way, and we do that by using to the fullest the tools He’s given us. Then He will indeed give what is needed and fill in what is lacking.
So check your “business plan” first and assure yourself that you’ve used everything that God put in your tool box. Then pray. You’ll be amazed at how God helps those who help themselves.