“Great opportunities to please God are infrequent,”
But turning little actions into great acts can happen all the time...
Once an elderly woman approached the then Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis. Seeing her, Pope Francis called out Abuela, (Grandmother), as they do in Argentina. “Abuela, do you want to confess?” “Yes,” she replied. And...
Nine-year-old Sally lives next door to Mr. Grumpy. Well it isn’t really Mr. Grumpy, but the way he constantly yells at the neighborhood children when they are too loud, or threatens them when their ball rolls into his yard, the name “ Mr....
Days of brilliant and welcome sunlight are among the great gifts of spring. Abundant light always helps us to see better. In fact, light shows us obstacles and pitfalls where we may stumble, and gives us the wonderful opportunity to avoid...
Once an elderly woman approached the then Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis. Seeing her, Pope Francis called out Abuela, (Grandmother), as they do in Argentina. “Abuela, do you want to confess?” “Yes,” she replied. And since he was ready to leave for a Confirmation, said: “But if you have no sins…” he said admiringly!
Her answer was swift and immediate: “we all have sins.” “But maybe the Lord can’t forgive them,” Bishop Bergoglio responded. “The Lord forgives everything!” she replied. To which the Bishop commented, “How do you know?” Then came a most insightful response, which astonished the Bishop even to this very day.
She softly said: “Well If the Lord didn’t forgive everything, our world would not exist.” Now those words spoken by a wise grandmother years ago remain within the heart of Pope Francis.
Her words echo to this day in our “mercy” church–“If the Lord didn’t forgive everything, our world would not exist.” Like Pope Francis, we need to hear these wonderful heartfelt words with every step we walk upon this earth. We are sinners and can’t do life alone. But, as we should know the Lord loves us and with His love comes mercy-the mercy that helps us begin again.
This is why the Lord calls those who are weak: Peter, Matthew, Zaccheus, Thomas, you and me. He calls us and makes us strong by His mercy. It’s the same with Mary Magdalene, and the woman caught in adultery. Listen again: “Has no one condemned you, then neither do I, go and sin no more” said Jesus to the embarrassed woman.
Now we don’t know if this woman ever sinned again. What we do know is she never forgot these words the Lord spoke “then neither do I.”
And when she remembers–as we all do–we come running back to Jesus to try again. Pope Francis wrote: “As long as we are alive, we have the Lord’s mercy as a gift.” This means everyone has this same gift of abundant mercy.
And, again, as that wise “Abuela,” grandmother said: “If the Lord didn’t forgive everything, our world would not exist.” But we know our world does exist. The Lord has risen from the dead and we are alive yet another day–and so is God’s mercy.
Nine-year-old Sally lives next door to Mr. Grumpy. Well it isn’t really Mr. Grumpy, but the way he constantly yells at the neighborhood children when they are too loud, or threatens them when their ball rolls into his yard, the name “ Mr. Grumpy” seems appropriate.
Yet every morning on her way to school Sally picks up Mr. Grumpy’s paper from the sidewalk, and places it on his front porch. It’s a bit of hike, but Sally does it anyway. Once in a while Sally believes she sees My Grumpy peeking from behind his window curtains, but she just minds her own business and keeps right on walking.
When asked why she does this, Sally simply responds: I am turning a “Good Friday” moment” into an “Easter Sunday life giving one.” Evidently in his Easter homily, Father Bill, her pastor, suggested that we keep Easter alive by doing acts of kindness in the face of any meanness we meet. In this way we are helping Jesus repair a broken world. And Father Bill insisted that Jesus wants our help. “because when we do these little acts of kindness, we turn a Good Friday Moment into an Easter Sunday life giving one. “
Now we were not present to hear Fr Bill’s homily on that Easter Sunday, but we know that Sally was. Maybe we can help Sally help Jesus, by finding our own Mr. Grumpy’s- and giving them an Easter Sunday Life Giving Moment. It’s worth a try!
Days of brilliant and welcome sunlight are among the great gifts of spring. Abundant light always helps us to see better. In fact, light shows us obstacles and pitfalls where we may stumble, and gives us the wonderful opportunity to avoid missteps.
Jesus who calls Himself the Light of the World, helps those around Him see things they would not necessarily observe. He not only enlightens us to hatred and indifference, but He also points us in the direction of change and hope. Jesus’ light is indeed more brilliant than any spring sunshine.
Each Easter season provides us with opportunities to see more clearly and walk more nearly in the light of Jesus. We celebrate Jesus victory over any darkness that hovers around us. Now He asks us to challenge the darkness that holds us back from seeing and caring for others. During this spring, leave darkness behind and bask in the dazzling courage that Jesus’ amazing grace provides.
As we move into the warmth of spring, we pray that the friendship of the Savior steady our steps, and these words of St. Francis de Sales mold our confidence:
“One cannot do anything with a heart that is vain and full of itself. It is of no use, either to itself or others.”
Instead, Easter is the time to fill our hearts with the hope and joy of Christ’s presence. In this way, His light may always shine on the beauty we find around us, no matter what the season may be.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. John 3:20-21