In whom do you trust? Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. With these words, we are issued a warning. In whom do we trust? When I think back over my life, one question I ask myself when I am feeling tempted to doubt the Lord, is this: When has God ever let me down? While it may feel at times like I am being let down, often sad or difficult times really become those times when growth occurs and something greater awaits. My becoming a Dominican friar came out of one such time.
The first reading presents the outcomes of trusting in God or trusting in humans. This is a choice we need to understand carefully. The reading is not suggesting, in my view, that we should never trust in human beings (in fact, just get in your car and drive on an expressway or any other road and you trust other human beings), but it is suggesting, I think, that all trust is first grounded in our trust in God. God is dependable. God is reliable. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and God’s wishes for us are more spectacular than we can even imagine.
The gospel also presents a story about a person who trusted only in human beings, the rich man who ignored the beggar Lazarus day in and day out for years. When he realizes that his choices ultimately impact his salvation (or his lack of salvation) he seeks then to undo the damnation. But by then, his heart is too callous, and his decisions too set. It is likely that he would revert to his old ways if he was able to make such a choice.
We are challenged in our lives to open our hearts to trust in the Lord. Out of this love and trust comes the ability to see the world in a new way. We see the beggar Lazarus, not as a nuisance, but as the person of Christ. We reach out to serve others not because we wish to feel good about ourselves, but rather because we wish to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus and others. So today, ask yourself, “In whom do I trust?”