God’s Loving Plan

March 27, 2020  •   Angie Windnagle

For Sunday, April 5, 2020
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Trust in Him

Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Matthew 26:14—27:66 Or 27:11-54

When I was expecting my second son, I remember spending hours poring over decisions on his birth and what I wanted things to look like. Every step of the labor and delivery process was already planned out in my mind. So, when at 40 weeks pregnant and ready to make this plan reality, I experienced a partial placental abruption, I was completely blindsided. Everything that I had anticipated for his birth was undone and I was sent on a completely new path in that single moment. In God’s providential care, my son was born healthy. There was so much suffering that came from that birth, but that moment was also a vital turning point for me as a mother and Catholic and I wouldn’t change it. God allowed it all for a good I couldn’t see yet. I learned the profound lesson that our ways are very often not God’s ways.

This Lent, our entire world has learned a similar lesson at a much larger scale. Many of us planned to spend our days preparing for the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection in a very specific way. Like many of my friends, I had mapped out exactly what I was fasting from and the spiritual practices I would be implementing in order to create a little curated Lenten journey I thought fit to help prepare my heart for these holy days. However, this year we have seen in God’s providential care that he has allowed a new way to be carved out for many Catholics this year. A way that God may see fit to call even more hearts to conversion as the world navigates the immense challenges of a pandemic. We’ve been called to give up far more than most had planned. At the same time we’ve been called to renew our hope and trust in the God who sees beyond any earthly suffering, not as a passive spectator but as the one who took on flesh in order to feel deeply the pangs of human suffering, in order to redeem it. At the end of Lent many of us are realizing God’s plans were not our plans, and His plans will bear so much more fruit even if we don’t see it yet.

The canticle in the second reading helps us commit to heart this reality: no matter how deep our suffering is or how tragic our world becomes, no matter how many plans are disrupted, we have a God who is so profoundly on our side that nobility and earthly power mean nothing to Him. He has literally cloaked Himself in the weight of our sin and sorrow in order to save us and ensure we get back to Him. If I had planned for a king to save the world, the last thing I would plan is a suffering servant who had to endure a horrendous death. But in His mercy and goodness, God planned a way that would convince even the hardest heart that we are never alone, and we will someday be in paradise with Him if we remain faithful and trust in Him.

Author Fr. Jacques Philippe teaches us about this trust in his book “Fire & Light” when he says:

“To the extent we have riches or place our trust in security and human support, we can’t really practice hope, which consists in counting on God alone. God sometimes permits us to go through trials, the loss of some of our security, even lamentable falls, in order that we learn in the end to count on nothing but Him and His mercy. Peter is a good example: he had to fall, denying Christ during his Passion, in order to learn not to lean on his own virtues, his own courage, the momentum of human enthusiasm, but only on the love of Jesus.”

Let us welcome Palm Sunday and our Lord’s Passion this year with new hearts that have been formed by God’s will, even if it didn’t come as we had planned, leaning into the love of Christ and his wounded heart.

Angie Windnagle

 

Prayer

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come unto thee,
That with thy Saints I may praise thee,
Forever and ever.
Amen.
-St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Jackie
4 months ago

Thank you for my reading and prayers today.
God bless you and the world.
Let there be peace , love, compassion and health on earth. Thank you God amen 🙏

Jen
4 months ago
Reply to  Jackie

I really cant thank you enough for this. My mind has been aching with so much going on, trying to keep myself and my children safe. All the while not working and not being able to fully support what we need for our family. We are going to celebrate another one of my kids birthdays alone at home. But one thing I do know and that I’ll always know is that The Lord is with me every step of the way helping and guiding us along this tough journey. We will celebrate him!

maryann thomka
4 months ago
Reply to  Jackie

God is telling us something and we must listen. Pray for all peoples to come together and share his love thru prayer and good deeds.

Jacquie Menard
4 months ago
Reply to  Jackie

My name is spelled Jacquie short for Jacqueline, not Jackie. Christ knows who I am, and everyone likes to have their name spelled correctly. Thank you for all that you do and for giving strength to your readers by your dedicated works.

Stephanie
4 months ago

May I share the pdf of this reflection with my parish? I am a director of religious education in Indianapolis on the search for new resources to share remotely with my community.
Thank you, and God bless!

Admin
LPi
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Yes, please share the pdf with your parish.

Elaine
4 months ago

Thank youvor your inspiration! God bless!

Georgine K Moores
4 months ago

Jesus I trust in you. Into your hands Lord I commend my spirit. Amen

Bonnie Comar
4 months ago

Thank you for this. It reminded me of the pregnancy of my second child and all the plans I had put into place, none of which happened–other than he was born healthy and is still today a healthy and vibrant young man. But, the way you wrote this about the depth of God’s love is so enriching for me. Thank you.

Martha Liddy
4 months ago

God bless and thank you for this wonderful reading to reflect on . God bless
Martha Liddy

Patricia Pilla
4 months ago

Thank you for the beautiful reading. Praying for everyone in the world.🙏🏾 Thanks to all the Drs and nurses risking their lives everyday. Thanks to our President and his task force. Through Mary to Jesus….

Susan
4 months ago

Beautiful, heartfelt & inspirational.

Nancy Van Emmerik
4 months ago

Amen! 🙏

Bob
4 months ago

Thank you; I’m always looking for ways to be more holy

Smastro
4 months ago

I say that prayer everyday and have done so long before this tradegy began it gives me great comfort.

Karen
4 months ago

This is a wonderful reflection. Thank you so much. I will be sharing it with our parish.

Linda
4 months ago

my thoughts are… in His hands thats where I will be.

Rodney Poling
4 months ago

Thank you Angie very much for sending this I really needed some words of encouragement. Keep them coming !

CAROL KLEIN
4 months ago

BEAUTIFUL AND TIMELY. THIS TIME OF ALONENESS HAS TAUGHT ME TO SLOW DOWN AND REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF SOLITUDE AND QUIET TIME BOTH FOR THE LORD AND FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND PEACE.

Stephen Lipps
4 months ago

Thanks

NAncy
4 months ago

Thank you for sharing this today. Shared with my husband too. Inspired words for certain!

Phyllis
4 months ago

I was moved to tears reading this. I am feeling such sorrow, that we will be missing holy week and everything it brings and gives. It’s hard to believe this is God’s plan, but I know we must trust.

Nicole SILVIO
4 months ago

Although we’re going through tuff times, just remember the Lord is with us. We must try to remain calm, and keep our faith in the Him (He has a plan). The Lord will get us through this and make us whole again.

THE LORD WILL PREVAIL.♥️

Paul L.
4 months ago

A time for the world to pause and look within. Prayers are always answered.

mmb
4 months ago

You don’t think God is done with us? That this is what we have brought upon ourselves due to all the things that are wrong with the world? I want to feel that God is with us, but I also feel like we have been abandoned, that we are beyond repair. The world is a mess, we have created that, all areas of life are impacted. I am feeling alone.

Juli
4 months ago

Awesomely written.
Thanks for the reminder of our need to totally trust in the Lord with an acceptance of His ways, not our ways.

francis
4 months ago

AMEN!!!!

Donna Whitaker
4 months ago

Angie, I am so proud of you! My God child is a blessing to many. May our Lord bless you and keep you and family safe from all the evil this world has embraced. Amen
Aunt Donna

Terry
4 months ago
Reply to  Donna Whitaker

Is there a message in this Crisis? We are not physically able to attend Sunday Mass and participate in Holy Week activities – we feel so alone–we wish to fill the pews once again. Perhaps, when this time is over, many who have left the church will be so thankful that they will once again fill the pews and come back to their Faith. Is this GOD’s plan?

Anita
4 months ago

Thank you… God Bless

Sherri
4 months ago

Thank you for the beautiful thoughts to continue to pray on.