June 28, 2011 - Memorial of St. Irenaeus, bishop and martyr

Today's Readings

“Run for the hills”, the Lord tells Lot. “They are too far”, Lot tells the Lord. “Run for the hills”, the Lord tells us. “They are too far”, we tell the Lord. The Lord finds us living in all our sins, in our own personal Sodom, and he tells us to run. Do not walk. Run! Destruction is coming. We know that destruction is coming. It does not have to take the form of fiery sulfur raining down from the sky; no further threat is necessary than the logical consequences of our sins. “Run for the hills”, the Lord tells us, but we dilly-dally. “Later,” we say, “maybe tomorrow.” But there is no point in converting tomorrow; tomorrow will never come. Our conversion has to take place today, now. Now is the acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation.

What is holding me back? Only fear. I am afraid of what life will be like in the hills, and I am afraid that before I reach the hills I will turn around and look back at Sodom. I am afraid of failing, and I am afraid of succeeding. I am afraid of what life without the indulgences of this world would be like. I am afraid of boredom. I am afraid of missing out on good things. But greater than these fears is my fear that I am not strong enough. I have tried before to turn my back on the world, to run to the hills, but here I am.

What could possibly answer my fears? How could I be convinced that it is possible to live in the hills? I cannot be. I am not wise enough. I have lived too long here in the world; my vision is clouded. I am not sure that I will make it to the hills, and I am not sure that I can survive there. Yet I still possess one powerful ally in this battle between myself and me: trust. I do not need to be sure; I only need to trust. God says, “Run to the hills”, and I can trust him.

For now, I put one foot in front of the other; I do not worry about reaching the hills; I do not worry about life in the hills. God will provide. I will go where he sends me, trusting that he will get me there and take care of me when I arrive.