Monday, August 11, 2014


Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

The Lord GOD said to me:  As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:  be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.  (Ezekiel 2:8)

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Matthew 18:14)

Be kind to your servant that I may live, that I may keep your word.
Open my eyes to see clearly the wonders of your law.
I am a sojourner in the land; do not hide your commandments from me.
At all times my soul is stirred with longing for your judgments.
Let my soul live to praise you; may your judgments give me help. 
Psalm 119: 17-20, 175

Working in healthcare I have met many people who suffered not only from illness or injury but from losses they faced as a result.  It can be many layers of hurt for an athlete whose rheumatoid arthritis forces him to stop running or a diabetic who must give up a career when complications cause her kidneys to fail and she can no longer hold down a job while going to dialysis three days per week.  An aging CEO can feel shunted aside cognition begins to decline.  People might find their worlds literally becoming smaller as physical abilities disappear. Social isolation can occur and personal or professional identity is threatened.  He/she might find themselves unable to provide for family. 

My reaction to the diagnosis of my father’s leukemia years ago was “WHAT?”  “Why would that happen?” to a health-food nut (before the days of health food), clean-living, devout and kind man.  My first pregnancy ended with an emergency C-section which threw me completely off balance as my plans for a medicine-free, natural childbirth went out the window.  I felt that my body was betraying me.  I wanted to “rebel” but my wise obstetrician explained why he had to do the surgery and he, in fact, saved my daughter’s life and probably mine.

Sacred history is full of stories in which God’s Chosen People rebelled against God.  We can also rebel against our own very nature which is both gift, God-given and also frail, imperfect.  Jesus’ words to his disciples applies to all God’s Children and is sweet balm to all of us who suffer.  We are each entirely precious to our Creator no matter our circumstances, power, skills, intelligence, faults or confusions.  Our piety opens us to God’s sweet balm no matter our burdens, disabilities or faltering intellect.  Our actions pass that balm to others and soothes us in the doing.

What’s the old saying, “Life is hard and then you die?”  In many ways, it’s true!  Take some time to look at those hard moments and pray for God’s love to be manifest to you despite them.  Take time to catalog the blessings you have found in life and rejoice!   Tangible result is not necessarily what God is looking for – God wants us to love and be loved.  How we love might not be visible in our lifetime.  Look for an opportunity to show someone just how precious he/she is in spite of our own hurts and shortcomings.

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