As children, we played in our red barn during the day, but at night it took on a scary aura of night sounds, of bats and hauntings. If I had to go into the barn at night, I would take my father by the hand and he would lead me through the darkness. Through this he taught me that if I am with him, I do not have to be afraid of the darkness. In life, the Lord will not have us avoid that which is difficult or scary. He calls us to take Him by the hand and to take other good and holy people by the hand. When we do this, we will find peace and hope in the toughest places and times in life. As we discover the Lord in our red barns, then our life gets more challenging, because then He will ask us to take the hand of those who are suffering and searching and to enter into their red barns of fear and distrust, so that they too will discover His presence and peace.
What are your red barns? Do you run away from them? Do you allow the Lord to lead you through your red barns and so discover His healing presence? Are you open to see your mission to help other people find Christ’s presence and healing in their red barns?
For Discernment: Consider how many saints went boldly into the “red barns” of tragedy, suffering, disease, war, and even death, not because they gained anything by it for themselves, but to give of themselves in service to the Lord and neighbor. They did not simply follow their preferences but asked the Lord to show them where there was the greatest need. There is a saying, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.” We can only live when we are willing to die. We can only discover ourselves, when we lose ourselves in love. To discern one’s vocation to be willing to lay down one’s life for the salvation of others. Pope Benedict XVI writes: “We must be inspired by a holy restlessness; restlessness to bring to everyone the gift of friendship with Jesus Christ.”
Scripture: Matthew 16.24-26: The Doctrine of the Cross Matthew 25.35-40: The Corporal Works of Mercy