Saturday, February 22, 2014

In the Small Things

Weekend of February 22-23, 2014

Dear Friends,

Please continue to pray for my brother who has been moved from his local hospital to a rehabilitation center near his home.  He will be there for a week or two learning how to navigate on his two feet again.  The severe gout, one of four major bodily issues that laid him low for two weeks at the hospital, made it impossible for him to walk for almost two full weeks.  He is now able to stand but need assistance getting himself onto his feet.  Prayers appreciated of course.  I am back at the parish until he is able to return to his home.  At that point I will return to be with him for a week or so.  Now to the business at hand.

During the last year or so, "the meaning and answer can be found in the details," seems to have become a favorite phrase of politicians here in the nation's capital city.  I want to reflect with you on that remark as it relates to our dealings with God.  We might say that God can be found in the small things of life, especially the smallest.

Think about this for a few moments.  First of all when we find God, we find peace and comfort.  Most of us know that.  However, our culture and times and brought us to believe or act in ways that always lead to the biggest things.  How many are trapped by such things as a large house even when there really isn't a need for so much space.  And how often does it seem that a Ford or Chevy is so much less that a BMW or Lexus.  Of course I dress so much better when I have a tailor made suit!!!!  A rather prominent Cardinal I worked with and for in the past could  be found at Target or Kohls when he needed a new suit.  "It covered my just as well as those other, expensive suits," we would say.  These are the worldly things that differentiate the truly spiritual person from one who gets captured by the need to have the biggest and the best.  Most all of us have to struggle with these realities, don't we?

And when it comes to personal relationships, we can be trapped by similar realities.  A dinner with a prominent politician or social figure surely beats inviting some folks to dinner, folks who are really having a difficult time financially and for whom a dinner out of the house would mean so much.

How about those relatives that don't keep close contact or friends who may be hospitalized or simply overwhelmed with personal problems?  What effort, even the smallest, like a Hallmark card or a cell phone call does it take to give support to a person?

If you read carefully the four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, you can find more often than not Jesus was not drawn to the bigger things, the more important people.  For him it was almost always those we might consider the little people:  those without, those alone, those sick, those rejected, those in prison, those who are thirsting for justice in their lives, the single parent, the kids enduring a divorce, the teen who just cannot get his/her act together.  Why so many suicides among teens?  Why so much use of drugs or alcohol by teens and other younger adults?  How can we not see the goodness in them, the presence of God himself, hidden inside all of these suffering people?  So often because they are among the "least" that we easily overlook them yet deep within them is the Lord who suffered and died for our salvation.  These are the poor, again, the "least" among us. 

The gospel reading for today reminded me that God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are so present in the "least," the smallest of things and people.  What is my reaction when encountering such a person or situation?  Ask yourself these questions:  Do I look for God in the not so small?  Have I ever considered that God really is present in the small things or people the I encounter?  Remember has always been that in the creek or river beds, among the smallest stones, that a gold miner finds the clues to wealth.  The same is true for those seeking to find God.  He is so easily found in the smallest of things and situations.  Overlooking the smallest is the easiest of mistakes we can make.

Have a good weekend.

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt