Fr. Ed Dougherty, M.M.
March 8, 2020
The Power of Persistence
In the Gospel of Luke, Christ tells the story of a man awakened in the middle of the night by his
friend. This friend asks for three loaves of bread to feed visitors who have just arrived at his house. But
the man tells the friend to go away because his family is sleeping and they have already locked their
house for the night. It seems like a hopeless situation until Christ turns the story on its head and assures
his listeners that the man will in fact give the friend what he wants.
Christ says, “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his
friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs” (Luke 11:8).
After sharing this story, Christ tells the disciples, “I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).
It’s important to remember these words when we consider our mission in life and how we are to go about using our talents. Our Christopher prayer card It’s Up to You utilizes the words of our founder, Father James Keller, M.M., to remind people how important it is to use the gifts God has bestowed upon us to make the world a better place. This may seem like a daunting responsibility until we realize how special we are in the eyes of God.
Father Keller writes, “The more you realize how much you are needed, the more initiative, imagination and courage you will show in bringing out the great power God has hidden within you.”
All we need to do is ask God for this strength, and we will be empowered to tap into our talents. The key is, we must realize how needed we are and how essential it is for us to take action. In the Gospels, Christ unceasingly reminds us of our infinite worth before God, saying, “Even the hairs of your head are all counted” (Matthew 10:30). Each one of us is unique and loved individually by God, who has bestowed talents upon us to accomplish some good in this world.
Discovering our talents and putting them to use requires persistence akin to that of the friend asking for bread in the middle of the night. Finding role models to inspire us on that journey can be an effective way to remind ourselves what persistence looks like. Role models are all around us, but we have to train ourselves to see in the right way. People don’t have to be perfect for us to take inspiration from them and model ourselves after certain actions that they take.
We’ve all had to fight through difficult times in life, and we know people who have done the same. Consider the persistence required to make it through those moments, and consider the persistence required of others in their struggle. Tough times create role models and we should look to each other for inspiration in the persistence we exhibit throughout our struggles. When we harness that persistence in our efforts to bring forth our talents for the greater good, then we are answering the call of God and rising to the challenge to do all we can to make this world a better place.
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