“Great opportunities to please God are infrequent,”
But turning little actions into great acts can happen all the time...
On his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis hugged many people in wheelchairs. In Philadelphia, Pope Francis stopped his Fiat, he then reached out to a 10 year old boy crippled by Cerebral Palsy and hugged him, and blessed him....
When we think about all the times we wait and get discouraged, we need only stop and consider the many times God waits for us and never gets discouraged. What is God waiting for, we may ask? God waits for each one of us to catch up to the...
How can this man give us his flesh to eat? The Jews quarreled in Jesus time and others still do to this very day. How can Jesus give us His flesh to eat? It’s not easy to hear these words and more difficult to believe them. No wonder so many...
On his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis hugged many people in wheelchairs. In Philadelphia, Pope Francis stopped his Fiat, he then reached out to a 10 year old boy crippled by Cerebral Palsy and hugged him, and blessed him.
Through his touch, Pope Francis was affirming this young boy declaring “you belong too.” Through his hug Pope Francis reminded him “God loves you too.” And with his blessing, Pope Francis said to this young man that “God knows who you are-and that you matter!”
Through these small actions and this very ordinary sense, i.e., touch, Pope Francis showed the amazing power of Christ. Pope Francis, by his touch, made this vulnerable person marginalized by a disease; know that he was important and that he still belonged.
Pope Francis has the keen and Christ like sense to spot the vulnerable in our society, and to merely reach out to them with a smile and a hug, and thus, bestow God’s love and mercy on such individuals. Pope Francis acts on Jesus’ behalf and in His name. This is the same thing that Jesus asks us all to do in His name.
Jesus reminds us: “If they are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them a drink. If they are strangers or foreigners, welcome them.” Vulnerability comes in many sizes and shapes; we just have to discover it. And then acting like Pope Francis, we reach out and love. It takes effort and concern to “get out of our own Fiat” and act as Christ would act.
For instance, are we able to reach out and forgive that person who hurt us deeply, but longs for our forgiveness? Can we call a son or a granddaughter or any relative, for that matter, who has made a life style choice we don’t agree with and tell them we still love them? Do we trust in God’s mercy to let go of something from our past, which still haunts us as we continue on with our journey?
When our lives are transformed as was that young boy’s in the wheelchair, Jesus’ power is alive in our world. Jesus has truly given us this simple and wonderful power. Why not–get out of your Fiat–and start sharing it today and make this extraordinary difference?Read More
When we think about all the times we wait and get discouraged, we need only stop and consider the many times God waits for us and never gets discouraged. What is God waiting for, we may ask? God waits for each one of us to catch up to the expectations He has for each of us
After all, when God’s gaze falls upon us, He only sees what’s possible. More importantly, we are delighted to believe that nothing is impossible with God. Even in our most stubborn moments, God waits for us “to make His day“– that is by making the right decision.
When we realize how long God waits for this to happen, we need to promise Him not to give up on ourselves. This is especially true when we see we are not anywhere near the place where God desires us to be. Difficult as that may be for us, we have to try to remember that God, Our Father, still loves us as we are. We have to believe that He embraces the person we have become, even though He willingly waits for the person He wants eagerly to see.
With each step we take in that direction, Our God gleefully caresses us with the love and the compassion that a grandfather feels watching his five year old granddaughter doing her first ballet steps! God is delightfully pleased.
This is why we promise to keep moving forward with each step filled with hope and never with hopelessness–as God stands by our side cheering us to succeed. This poem from Thomas Merton sums up this journey best:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Doesn’t mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you,
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always
Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
This is why we need never fear, the Lord stands with us-always!Read More
One day, explaining to my freshman Religion Class the beautiful and much beloved eight beatitudes. And how all eight all begin with “blessed,” one bright and alert young man shouted: “I found a lost one!”
Then in a triumphal voice , he read for all to hear: “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” Then grinning from ear to ear, he sat down.
My young Scripture scholar didn’t realize that what he found were Jesus’ words to a doubting apostle, Thomas. And when this happened Jesus was far from the mountain , where he spoke the “eight” beatitudes,. At that time Jesus may have thought eight was enough.
No indeed , thought my eager freshman, he had found a lost one, and he wanted full credit for it. He was standing his ground .
In a sense , if we had an opportunity to ask Jesus, he may surprise us and agree with this perceptive freshman. He might say “ Don’t we, all in someway, when seeking Him in our everyday lives often doubt that He is even there? Don’t we want better or greater certitude like reaching out when we are fearful. How about touching his cloak or having the pleasure of seeing His face in a crisis just to be sure he is around?
Yet Jesus says in regards to this ‘lost” beatitude that he wants His disciples to be faithful, no matter what: “Blessed are those who
have not seen, and yet believe.”
Perhaps this freshman is wise beyond his years. We should not lose this beatitude, but keep it very near the other eight for it still has meaning we can use.
St. Francis de Sales supports this “lost beatitude” when he writes:
Although we may not see the next step of our journey, we remain always on the path of faith for God is always there.Read More