Being the Child God Wants Me to Be

June 17, 2021   Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 368)

Reading I   2 Cor 11:1-11
Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why? Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!

Responsorial Psalm   111:1b-2, 3-4, 7-8
R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia   Rom 8:15bc
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   Mt 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

By Delaney Rayner

In the Gospels, Jesus often refers to God as His “father.” Through teaching us the Lord’s prayer, Jesus invites us in and elevates us to be adoptive children, with God as our father. With today’s Gospel, the Lord reminds me He is my father.

Children are dependent on their parents, and when I have refused to surrender my self-sufficiency, God has waited patiently with His hands open to receive my independence.

Because that is not how He is asking me to be.

When I thought I could do it alone, God gently showed me that I, in fact, could not. More than once the Lord has allowed me to be broken down in order to build me up stronger.

These past few months of school, coupled with mental and physical health issues, along with the unrelenting chaos of the pandemic felt just like that: a “breaking down.” But it was in the midst of this breaking down that I learned the power of God’s adoptive fatherhood.

My self-sufficiency became unsustainable.

My mental and physical health had to be addressed by my doctors. My commitment to perfectionism, to being everything to everyone slipped through my fingers. I was left feeling broken and empty-handed, with nothing to offer to others or to God.

It turns out, however, that I still had exactly what my Father was asking for the entire time. He wanted me to return to my childhood: dependent, trusting, and curious. It was through this time when I tried to be on my own that I realized He didn’t want me to be alone.

He wanted to nurture, protect, provide, and care for me.

Children are eager to learn, instead of being obsessed with perfection. Children make mistakes and are taught to apologize and be forgiven. Children talk to their parents everyday, allow themselves to be held and taken care of, and grow with the proper nurturing. I am still learning how to be a child, but it is a lot easier to learn when my hand is held tightly in His. I may stumble, but His stability continually makes me new.


Delaney Rayner is a Texas native currently a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is studying Communication Arts and Theology with the hope of fulfilling God’s call for her at the intersection of media and ministry. Delaney can be found crafting Pinterest DIYs, belting Taylor Swift’s “folklore” in her car, or reading the work of St. JPII in her travel hammock. Whatever she finds beautiful, she photographs - mostly her friends and sunsets. Her constant pursuit is a life fully alive.

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