Wednesday, July 13, 2016

She died in her sleep...

My daughter knows that if she asks me for something to eat I will give it to her.  It did not matter if it was two in the morning or the afternoon, if she was hungry I fed her.   I explained to my wife that one of my father's relatives had a daughter who asked for another piece of cake very late in the night and her mother refused to let her have it.   She sent her to bed without that piece of cake.  That daughter died in her sleep.  To this day I will feed a child, regardless of what time it is, if they tell me they are hungry. 

Think of the boldness of those of us who proclaim that God is our Father.   In the prayer that Jesus taught us we say simply, "Give us this day our daily bread."   Recently when meditating on this I pictured myself as a child with my hands out, simply asking God for a piece of bread.  The image in my mind reminded me of the stance we take when going up to receive communion in hand. We place our hands forward as a throne, like children, like beggars.  In asking simply God rewards greatly, giving us not just bread, but the body soul and divinity of Christ.  He gives us more than we ask for, far better than we deserve.

As Christians we are called to live out our lives in the image of Him who we have been created in.  That is, we are to emulate God in our actions, in our thoughts, and our words.  That's a challenging thing when you think of the image of God as Father, as the one who is being asked for sustenance, peace, and tranquility.  He provides freely, generously, and more powerfully than we ourselves even expect.  Forgiving our sins, meeting both our physical and spiritual needs, while also helping us to move forward and grow into the person we are created to be.  We can find the source of that image in Christ himself. 

That's our challenge then isn't it?  To be childlike in our faith in that we trust God to reach out to us and give us what we need, but also to be the image of the invisible God to those who are hurting, frustrated, and lacking in their lives.  We ourselves receive Christ in the Eucharist, then we must go out into the world and share it with those who have not.  By giving food and drink to the widow, the orphan, the refugee... the moment they ask, and even more than they ask for.   Also, in giving spiritually to all in need.  This is what it means to love.  To treat people as a whole, not as a part.  To interact with them more than on a superficial level, but on a level that unites us as one body.. That's what happens when we encounter Christ at the Mass... are we allowing that to happen when we encounter Christ in His most distressing disguises? 

His servant and yours, 
Brian 

"He must increase, I must decrease." 

A Reflection on the Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary time: July 13, 2016.   Isaiah 10:5-7, 13b-16; Psalm 94; A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew 11:25-27