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Peace and Surrender


“Surrender and you will get it” ~ Shiva Negi

“Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope,” proclaims our Psalmist today, a most appropriate pleas in light of Saint Paul’s plight in today’s 1st Reading from Acts 22:30; 23:6-11). This 1st Reading was paired with today’s Gospel (John 17:20-26) last year as well

In the case of Paul, he was called to surrender.. Jesus implores him to “Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.” It is of course in Rome where Paul would ultimately be executed. The Saints whom we memorialize today, Marcellinus and Peter, were called to surrender. Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, were beheaded during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. I touched briefly on their lives last year on their Feast Day

Adherence and obedience to God is the beginning of love. To know that God will provide what we need, not necessarily what we want. Surrender is, in reality, death. Death to self. Who wants to die? We are not wired to desire death, certainly not death to self. Concupiscence makes us prideful, selfish and vain.

Surrendering to God is not easy. And it’s important to remember that faltering is not failure. When we falter It simply means that we have yet to find the proper way to cooperate with God’s grace. It is through prayerful perseverance that we overcome this setback, a setback that is merely temporary. We grow as the process unfolds, which is all part of the divine plan. Surrender is not weakness. It is instead the ultimate sign of strength and the foundation of a well-rooted spiritual life.

Perhaps you’re asking, “What’s in it for me?” In a word, peace. In two words, unshakable peace. Peace that can not be taken away. Peace that can not be affected by circumstance, which is always temporary. God promises a peace that is eternal. . .

God will do his part. He always does. He always keeps his word, always comes through. This perfect, all powerful, all loving God, who is infinitely happy and needs nothing, certainly nothing from us, nonetheless desire to be with us, much more than we want to be with him. We know that life here on earth is a life of violence and intense struggle. Life in Heaven on the other hand is one of peace, love, and unending joy. Our hope resides in the God who promised to free us from the yoke of slavery and sin. The God who promises us peace, if we would only surrender to his will and his plan.

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“Father, take my life and use it as You will. I choose today to surrender my all to You. You know the thoughts of my heart, and I have not come to this decision lightly. I
pray that whatever the cost, You would take full control of all that I am and all that You want me to be.” ~ Amen

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