Monday, July 5, 2010

Always Among Us -- But Where?

Hosea writes "Thus says the Lord ...."  A typical expression in prophetic writings.  Here Yahweh speaks to Hosea his words of love and care for the people of Israel.  "I will allure her... I will lead her ... I will speak to her heart."  Even in days centuries ago, our God, through the prophets, reveals to us his love for us, his solitude.  It is the same care we read in the words of Matthew's recounting Jesus' immediate response to a plea from a local official who sought his presence for a a daughter he believed to have died.  What trust and faith Jesus experienced in the father, even though in the gospel he says to the girl, Your faith has saved you."

The Church honors a medical doctor who shifted his daily practice from medicine to being a healer of souls -- St. Anthony Zaccaria.  Later in his life, Fr. Zaccaria was present to victims as both doctor and priest in the city Milan, Italy, especially when a devastating plague infected the city.  He stands today as a reminder that God continues to work among us through the ministry of different men and women.  Consider the heal of heats and souls brought about by Blessed Theresa of Calcutta.  Consider the healing of hearts brought to the sick by priests, religious sisters and brothers and lay ministers who assist them.  How many are those in the Washington, DC area who remember the care a truly renowned Sibley Hospital chaplain, Msgr. Harry Echle.  For many years this quiet priest would make his "rounds" three times every day to be present with the sick at Sibley?  I believe their number is legion.

It is amazing that backwards look to find how God continues his promise to be close to us through our lives.  So often we need only to stop, look and listen to those around us.  Many times there will be someone who has responded to his call to serve our brothers and sisters.

18th century hymn composer, Isaac Watts, penned these words that are a fine conclusion here:

While all that borrows life from thee
Is ever in thy care,
And everywhere that man can be, 
You, God, are present there.
(Wurtemburg Songbook, "I Sing the Mighty Power of God)