Building Trust

This Sunday, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. One of the most basic messages of Divine Mercy is that we must trust in Jesus—completely and without hesitation. Often, the image of Divine Mercy is graced with the fervent prayer, “Jesus, I Trust in You!”

For many of us, this is extraordinarily difficult. We put on ourselves the same expectations we have been immersed in our entire lives. “Be your own man (or woman).” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Time and time again, we are fiercely encouraged to greater self-reliance. Rather than making us become who we are meant to be, this false thinking only serves to isolate us, to drown out the One to whom we are beloved, the One who only wants the best for us.

It is easy to allow the world to reassure us that our fascination with self-improvement and self-advancement is good for us. In fact, some of the messages are good for us when taken in the appropriate context, such as eating in healthier ways to preserve the bodies that are a tremendous gift from God, or getting more rest and exercising. There are other ways in which this drive for self-determination can be less healthy. We hear that we must take care of ourselves first, that we must hoard our resources and seek to keep outsiders from coming too close or “taking” too much.  We’ve worked hard for what we have, right?

God, however, might view this differently. Jesus spends a remarkable amount of time building relationships with and caring for those on the margins. He doesn’t stop to ask if the poor deserve justice or if the widow is worthy. Christ also continually prompts his followers to care for one another and to look to God for guidance and aid.

I’ll admit that trust is hard. It’s hard to put your life into the hands of another, even Jesus. It is even more so if we haven’t taken the time to know Him. Trust in another person grows slowly over time and often with a determination to do so. It’s okay to feel that it’s hard to completely trust in the Lord. Maybe you don’t know Him well enough for that yet.

Luckily, God knows us and knows that this trust may be difficult for some. In His great love for us, He sent His Son to show us how—to be someone with whom we can build a truly close, beautiful, and trusting relationship with.  Christ’s life, death, and resurrection reveal to us the method of drawing close enough to trust. The very gift of the Sacraments provides us with tangible experiences with which we can solidify that bond.

n Baptism, we become His children. With Confirmation, we receive yet more of the gifts He knows we will need to follow our chosen path. In the Eucharist, we are given over and over again the nourishment that we need to stay close to Him and align our will to His. Reconciliation sets us free of the chains that hold us apart from Him—without limit, without condemnation. The Anointing of the Sick strengthens us and heals us, even as we join Him on the cross. Holy Orders and Marriage ordain us with His mission for our lives.

If you think that you could do with a little more trust, receiving the sacraments often is a great place to start.  Maybe you, like I once did, resist one or more of these sacraments. I resisted confession for many years, even after I returned to the Church. I promise you; it wasn’t scary like I had feared, and the more often I go, the easier it is. I quickly learned that, instead of being a place of judgment and anxiety, the confessional was a place of freedom and joy.

Likewise, when we want to get to know someone and build our trust in them, we must spend time with them. Not just a little time, not just time filled with business and entertainment, but real quality time in which we focus on getting to know each other. We are blessed here at St. Peter’s to have perpetual adoration in our Chapel of the Nativity. If you haven’t already, allow yourself time with Jesus.

There is a beautiful story that illustrates the beauty of the gift of the Real Presence in the life of St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney. He noticed that a local peasant came in to the church every day on his way home, after his labors. The man would stay for hours in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He didn’t seem to be doing anything at all, just staring at the Eucharist. One day, St. Vianney approached the man and asked what he was doing, during all that time before Jesus in the Eucharist. The peasant replied, “Nothing, I look at Him and He looks at me.”

Come visit Him in the chapel and just allow Him to look upon you with love. Gratefully accept the sacraments for the gifts they are—for you. Before you know it, you, too, may feel a prayer pour from your heart, “Jesus, I trust in You!”

Lisa Amos
Director of Mission and Ministry

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