will of God


Discerning The True Will Of God


2nd Sunday Of Lent – Year B

Fr. Mark Gatto

Date Preached: Februay 28, 2021

What we think God wants is not always what God actually wants.  We need to be very careful in thinking that we know what God wills.  We need to be humble and discern carefully.  Because in history there have been many times that in the name of religion or in the name of God, people have done very terrible things.  There is a saying that most people have just enough religion to hate and not enough religion to love.

The story of Abraham and Isaac is an example of how it is possible to misunderstand what God wills.  Abraham is told to sacrifice his only son Isaac.  Was this ever the actual will of God?  Surely not.  Though there were certain tribes and groups in that area of the world at that time who did sacrifice human beings in the name of God, as a form of worship.  Abraham comes to a new understanding, a development in his discernment of God’s will.  Abraham is known as the father of faith, he was ready to surrender everything for the will of God.  But, he came to understand in a deeper way the will of God.  Certainly not a God of senseless sacrifices or human suffering in God’s name.

The Transfiguration was a spiritual experience that would allow the disciples, Peter, James, John to trust when the crucifixion and death of Jesus took place.  The Transfiguration would allow them to see beyond the surface of this terrible event.  In fact, they probably only understood the meaning of this Transfiguration experience later on, some time after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

All of us need Transfiguration like experiences to allow us to discern more carefully the true will of God.  To allow us to see beyond the surface of the events and circumstances of our life.  When we experience struggles, failures, suffering and ultimately the reality of death, we need to see deeper, below the surface, to the will of God.

A Transfiguration experience may be when we spend time alone with God, away from the distractions of daily life.  A time of silence, solitude and prayer.  This opens our hearts and minds to see below the surface of the events in our life.  This is so important if we are to understand in a deeper way when we experience struggles in life.  Then we are able to recognize God calling us to get back up, not to give in to despair.  To see the light beyond the dark moment.  Of course, the ultimate darkness is the reality of death.  But, the will of God is for our salvation, offering us new life in the resurrection.

Pope Francis, in his new book called Let Us Dream, reflects on what this Covid crisis means to us today and how we can move forward in a new and better way after this.  In it he speaks about how the church needs to discern the “signs of the times”, to see how the Spirit is at work in our world.  We have to interpret and pray over the events in our lives in the light of the Gospel.  We should all be reflecting and praying over our experience in this Covid time.  What can we learn from this, what grace is offered in this moment, how is God calling us to respond in this unique situation?

Often what we think is the will of God, what we think God wants, is not the will of God at all.  We need to discern carefully and humbly.  We need to go up the mountain in silence and solitude to allow God to open our hearts and minds.  There we will be able to see more clearly the surprising and unexpected ways of God.  We will be able to see even in the dark moments of our lives, the blessings that God desires for us.

Continue Reading

Are You Doing The Will Of God? – Fr. Mark


10th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: June 10, 2018

Whoever does the will of God is my mother, my brother, my sister. You and I can be a brother or sister of Jesus. A family like relationship with Jesus. By doing the will of God. Every time we pray the Our Father, we pray that the will of God be done. How do we know that we are truly doing the will of God?

Well, we see what it is like when human beings are not doing the will of God in the story of Adam and Eve. They have gone against the will of God, disobeyed the will of God when they ate from the fruit of the forbidden tree. What do we see happen next?

They are hiding from the presence of God. They are covering up, because deep inside they realize that what they have done is wrong. The first sign of the reality of sin, the reality of evil in our lives, is when we are hiding, covering up, secrets, lying. When we have to lie, keep secrets, cover up and hide our actions, this is usually a sign that we are not doing the will of God.

Next we see Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the serpent. A second sign of the reality of sin is that we begin blaming someone else, we do not accept responsibility for what we have done. We rationalize, it was not really my fault.

Adam and Eve knew inside that what they did was wrong, that it was not the will of God. For this reason that we see them hiding, keeping secrets, lying. Then they begin blaming others instead of accepting responsibility for what they had done.

The reality of sin and evil, is usually seen in lies, hiding, secrets. There is a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, “you are only as sick as your secrets.”

Good advice for any married person. Do not do anything if you could not tell your spouse about it. If you are planning to do something but you would not be comfortable telling your spouse, then probably a good sign you should not do it. Secrets, lies, hiding are always signs that we are moving in the direction of evil and away from the will of God.

By doing the will of God, we live as a family member of Jesus. When doing what is right, the will of God, there is no need to hide, no need for secrets, no need to lie, no need to blame others.

Sin and evil is always rooted in lies. Why we can say, “you are only as sick as your secrets.”

We are to live in such a way that we never need to hide, to cover up, to keep secrets, to lie. Doing the will of God, this way of living is to live as a brother or sister of Jesus. This is the way of living that leads to true peace in our lives.

Continue Reading