Skip to main content

Only doing the odd problems.

One of my sons came home from school one afternoon and told me that his teacher said that he only had to do the odd math problems on his worksheet.  I acknowledged her instructions but said that I wanted him to do all of the problems since he was struggling in math and needed extra practice.  Needless to say, he wasn't too happy about the situation but he did what I asked.

Why did he obey me and not the teacher?  I have a higher authority.  To translate this into biblical language for my son I could have said, "You have heard it said, do only the odd problems.  But I say unto you, do them all."

Yesterday and today we have meditated on this same situation with Jesus as He continues His Sermon on the Mount.  In fact, all the readings this week have shown us Jesus establishing His authority and  presenting Himself as the new Moses, the new Lawgiver.

As He stated in previous verses, He has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  He isn't' doing away with the commandment against killing or adultery.  He is perfecting them.  He is saying that there's so much more than just doing the odd problems, the least you can get away with.  He is saying that to not be guilty of murder you must also not be angry.  He is saying that to keep the commandment against adultery you must go a step further, you must not even lust in your mind or heart.

God wants us to grow in our love of Him and others.  He wants to increase our faith.  In order to do this, we have to be challenged.  My son won't grow and increase his math skills without being challenged.  I can't increase muscle strength without resistance, without a challenge to grow.  A diamond can't be made without pressure.  You get the idea!  God is challenging us to go a step further because He loves us and wants what is best for us.  He knows that if I can control my temper, I'm not likely to commit murder.  He knows that if I can resist the temptation to lust, I am not likely to commit adultery.

In the first reading God challenges Elijah.  He challenges him to be patient and not assume he knows God inside and out.  He challenges him to be open to how God wants to speak to him.  After the prophets of Baal incident, Elijah has every right to expect God to show up in an earthquake, crushing wind, or fire, again.  But God, this time, speaks to him in a tiny whispering sound.

God speaks to us in different ways. I've had both the St. Paul experience and the Elijah experience.  That is, I've been knocked to the ground and I've had God whisper to me.  The difference is not God, it's us.  He knows what we need.  He knows how to challenge us.  The question is, are we open to how He wants to speak to us.  Or, are we always expecting, no, rather, are we demanding that God speak to us in a certain way!  Be open!

How is God challenging you right now in your life?  Are you open to what He is doing or do you want it on your terms?  Do you want to only do the odd problems when He is asking for the entire worksheet?  Does He have authority in your life or do you?

Lord, help me to hear Your voice, accept Your challenge, and grow in Your grace!


Popular posts from this blog

2016 Rosary-A-Day Giveaway

That's right!  For the month of October we will be giving away one of our handcrafted cord knot rosaries each day during the month of October, the month of the Rosary.

For your chance to win, simply send an email to ( with the words "Rosary-A-Day" in the subject line.  Each day we'll randomly pick a name to win a free "surprise me" (our choice of colors) rosary.  We'll also be giving away some copies of Rosary Meditations for Real Life throughout the month from those names submitted.  Make sure to not be selfish, share the love and let others know!  Good luck!

One winner per household.  Please enter only once, you will receive an email confirming your entry.  Multiple entries from one email address will be deleted. Any order through our site will qualify you for a second entry. Your email will stay in until you win or until the end of the month.  US residents only please unless you are willing to pay the $15 shipping.  Than…

Catherine's Mobile Stander

I've once again learned to not underestimate this girl.  At school she has been receiving therapy using this stander to help her gain strength and stamina.  We brought it home for the summer and I'm simply blown away.

I'm amazed at how proficient she is at maneuvering such a device.  She is able to roll around corners, through doorways, over carpet and more.  Catherine makes it look easy and she does so with the hand-eye coordination of a professional gamer.

However, what really amazes me is her disposition when she is in this contraption.  There are tons of books and videos addressing the power of posture, the power of physical positioning and it's influence on the mental position and mental health.  
These short (35 minute) sessions that Catherine experiences twice per day confirms the theories.  Each time she is placed in the stander her demeanor changes.  She's happy, smiles more (if that's possible) and is more outgoing.  She wheels around the house greet…

Take Up Your Cross

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

In the First Reading, Moses challenges the people, and us, to "choose life". He says, "choose life, that you and your descendants may live." This seems pretty practical. If we choose life, we and our descendants will go on. If not, well...

However, I think we need to look deeper. In fact, I would encourage you to insert a word here in the scriptures, if only mentally - "choose eternal life." For most of us, choosing life is not much of a choice in the arena of our daily lives. Most of us do not rise in the morning with the thought of I'm going to choose to live this day racing through our brains. Yet choosing eternal life must be an everyday, and in fact every moment, choice. It is an effort to make those choices day after day and minute after minute. In some degree, every choice we make throughout our day is a choice for either eternal life or eternal death - therefore choose life!

So how then do we "choo…