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“Common Sense” by Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ah common sense.  If it’s so common, why do none of us seem to have it?  It’s common sense to not save things until the last minute.  It’s common sense to save your money and not make a big impulse purchase.  It’s common sense to fill up the gas tank before the light goes on – you’ll need to get gas eventually, you might as well get it now!

Maybe we should call it uncommon sense.  Whatever the case, most of us would agree that sometimes we say, do, and think things that completely go against common sense.

When I first looked at the readings for this Sunday, they struck me as rather common sense for someone who’s trying to live the Christian life.  Trust in the Lord.  Put your hope in God.  If you do, you’ll be like a tree planted next to running water.  Makes sense.  Common sense in fact.  Of course, trusting in God is the best thing for us, and that will make us grow and flourish, just like the tree!

But again, common sense seems to elude us here.  We think, “I know I should trust in God, but just in case, I’ll hedge my bets.  I trust that he’ll surround me with people who love me…but just in case, I’ll go out and find that love myself…even if it’s in the wrong places.  I have hope in his plan for my future…but just in case, I’ll climb the corporate ladder and push people out of the way if I need to, to make sure I’m taken care of.  I trust that God has given me the ability to study and prepare well for the big test…but just in case, I’ll take a look at the girl’s paper next to me.”

So many of our sins come from our lack of trust in God.  So how do we grow in this trust?  For me, it’s very helpful to look at those around me who already have this deep trust in God, in his plan and his providence for us.  I’m also inspired by the example of so many saints who have accomplished amazing things because they put their hope in God, and he provided for them along the way.  Think about Mother Teresa.  She had hardly any resources, and an insurmountable task ahead of her to serve the poorest of the poor and the dying, too numerous to even be counted.  But she had her hope in the Lord, and took care of one person at a time.

So next time you’re doubting whether God is going to back you up, pray “Jesus I trust in you”, take a risk every once in a while, and as you begin to trust more and more you’ll realize that placing your hope in the Lord really is the common sense thing to do!

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