Sunday, April 3, 2016

Let Him Ask Again

A drop in the desert
There are so many things we try to do to get good health.  One doctor tells you to eat high fat, another high protein, another no fat, low protein.  One high carb, another low carb.  This one tells you to use aromatherapy.   Another to take this pill and that.  Yet another tells you to avoid pills and simply stick needles into certain places of your body.  All of them claim to have the answer.  It becomes quite confusing to the average person to try and figure out exactly what they should do and eat, what they should put in their bodies, what they should avoid... Yet we find people going to great lengths, eating extreme diets, concocting various potions and chemicals, all in the search of adding a few years to their life.

How many times in the movies have we seen people take upon themselves these massive quests to find a cure, or to save the one they love.  Indiana Jones risked his life navigating the maze of death to get the holy grail that he might save his father who had been shot with a bullet.  He was willing to risk his life for just the chance that he might save his dad.  In other movies we see people seeking rare flowers in the heights of the trees in the jungle, seeking out estranged guru's hidden from sight in order to find the secret to their condition, or even like Eddie Murphy, climbing the highest peaks of some strange country to find a temple to retrieve a scroll that will save many lives.

We do that still in our own lives sometimes don't we?  We look for the right herbal treatment, or the right natural remedy.  We ask doctors for medicine to cover up our symptoms that we might live a semi-normal life.  If someone told you today that you should load up your family and head to some other continent because the cure for cancer was in a plant in the middle of the desert, would you pack up that loved one and head out?  Many of us would.  If my daughter were dying and I were told I had to climb the highest mountain to pick a blooming rose on the 3rd of december at midnight, I'd likely be willing to do it...

The thing is though, it's Divine Mercy Sunday.  It's a reminder to us that God's mercy is infinite, it's an ocean waiting to be poured out on us.. all we have to do is accept it.  When I was a Protestant I did find God's grace.   God's grace is available to all people.   I'd feel the Holy Spirit at a prayer service, while listening to some preacher on the radio, while praying with some friends at work... yes, his grace was there.   It was though like I was searching in the desert looking for those moments.  Looking up to the dry, blistering sky I would occasionally find relief from the arid world around me. A drop here.. a drop there... just a moment of relief...

Then I found the Church... I found Him.. I found that river of life that Jesus told the woman at the well about.  Instead of a drop here or there... there was enough of God's grace to pour over me, around me, and through me... all of it right there in the Eucharist.  How much of that grace has God offered to the world and the world refused?  In the Divine Mercy Chaplet we pray about the fount of life, unfathomable divine mercy.. An ocean of mercy so deep it can never be sounded.  An ocean of mercy that is beyond comprehension, God himself, descending into a piece of bread... something defenseless... to allow me to receive Him into my body... to place that Mercy into me.. to consume it.. to let it flood through my body and change me.. to help me to grow into Him.. to be more like my savior and my Lord..

We seek concoctions, potions, spells and incantations to cure things which are temporal....... To ease the symptoms of a much less serious illness than that of apathy, that of spiritual sloth.  Do we realize how important Mass is?  How important it is to receive Jesus Christ; body, soul and divinity; into our own body to help us become what he intended us to be?  It's not enough to just receive that Mercy.. it's not enough to just tap into this ocean and consume enough for our own needs... No.. you see, you are a conduit.. The Eucharist fills you up, just like a cup... if you are full?  There's no more room.  God didn't design us to be just a cup.. He designed us to be little Christ's.... to pour ourselves out, like Christ did on the cross.. to take this living water and turn it into a transforming flood to mold the world into the image of His kingdom.

Are you ready for that?  To go out into the world and give away what you have been given?  To hand the mercy and forgiveness you have experienced through God's abundant grace and love to those who need it most?   The widow, the orphan, the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed.. and yes, to your enemies.. to those you like the least.. to those who are most unlike yourself... That's what God is calling you to.  He is coming before you in the Eucharist and saying to you, as he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  Now it's up to us.. to say back to Him... to look up at the Mercy of God himself, to look up at Jesus in the Eucharist, and to say with Mary, the Mother of God, and all the Angels and Saints in Heaven, "My Lord and my God!”

His servant and yours,

"He must increase, I must decrease."