Bless the Lord with All that We Have
7th Sunday of Ordinary Time (A)

Jeremiah R. Grosse
Reproduced with Permission

God has done so much for us and yet there is a growing sense of atheism in this country. Why is that? This new atheism, which is not particularly new, stems not from a personal encounter with the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, but from an understanding of God based upon philosophical constructs.

Psalm 103 invites us to bless the Lord with everything that is within us. He forgives our iniquities, heals all our diseases, and redeems our lives from the Pit. The challenge is that all too often this is not the God which most people imagine when they attempt to conceive of God. There notion of God is someone who is so completely “Other” that they cannot even contemplate the idea of Him having any impact on our lives.

The experience of Moses at the burning bush or Jesus reaching out His hand healing the woman with the hemorrhage seems to them to be more of a fairy tale than a reality.

In fact, we encounter God in numerous ways throughout our daily lives, but so often since we do not experience something from a Cecil B. DeMille movie, we miss it entirely. We meet God when we enter into conversation with a child and experience the world through their innocent eyes. Children are not as jaded as many adults are, so they are more open to being touched by God.

The truth is that God cannot be understood simply by studying philosophy. The human mind cannot fully know God as He truly is; however, that does not mean that we cannot have an encounter with Him.

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob is closer to us than our next breath. He knows what we need even before we ask for it. He is not a mental construct or the product of philosophical inquiry, but a Divine presence who wants to be in relationship with us, but wants us to enter into this relationship of our own free will.

Unlike human relationships which can end due to feelings of jealousy, envy, or anger on the part of one or both partners, our relationship with God would come to an end if we choose to end it.

As long as we are contrite and willing to be in relationship with God He will be in relationship with us. The choice is ours when it comes to relating to God.

For all that God has done us for, it is only right that we should bless Him with all our soul and give praise to His holy name.