Today I was at the funeral of an accomplished young musician. He died on Thursday, his daughter was born on Monday…He’d fitted a great deal into his short, enthusiastic life, using the gifts he was given with skill and detemination…an unfinished life? And yet there was still a great sense of gratitude and hope in his mother and in his father, and other relatives. His music was played, beautiful haunting music, before the requiem Mass began…and in what was a sorrowful loss there was much peace and positive emotion throughout. I’ve seen this time and time again, more than just hope, more than just faith, but deep peace and community and a buoyancy of love and hope in Catholic funerals and wakes. When my mother died leaving nine children ranging from nineteen to four years old, even then, there was this spirit of something glorious, peaceful and beautiful.
Because grace doesn’t necessaritily come with clear labels. It subtly but powerfully embues everything and everyone with something more than is reasonable or realistic.
Yes there is much suffering, but God’s gifts are seldom neon lit. We have the gifts of nature God gives us, and it’s how we deal with the circumstances and relationships and our gifts that allows the grace to enter and lift all in our lives.
Our sufferings can become our gifts also if we live them with peace and grace. If nothing else…though hopefully we untie sufferings with the Lord’s…our sufferings can give us deeper appreciation and deeper empathy with others and therefore make us better able to convey love and understanding and support to them.
God gives you life and gifts, and part of the gift God has given you is the freewill to shape your daily life and future. We have the gifts to do this, and we can delight our Father by being creative and generous with our gifts, not to hold them close to ourselves and to even bury them, waiting for God to do what He has given us the ability to do.
As one person said, by the way,"When I pray, coincidences happen. When I don’t, they don’t.
God’s grace is in the ordinary things you do…and Jesus makes one of the most poweful statements of our lives in relation to Go, in a part of His life that is often overlooked.
If we must expect the extraordinary, then Jesus, God, Son of God, Saviour and Judge of all humankind should have incarnated as a wonderful adult man. But He didn’t. He came as a helpless infant who was born in an animal shelter, becae a refugee into Egypt with His mother and Joseph so he’d escape murder. He had to be wrapped to keep warm, needed diaper/nappy changes like any other baby, grew up as an ordinary child whom his fellow townsfolk would later reject as He seemed too ordinary. We see only one glimpse of His knowledge of Himself as the Son of God, at age 12, when He ditched His parents and taught in the Temple for three day, and when His distressed family caught up with Him, He said’ “Didn’t you know I must be about My Father’s business.”
He knew He was God, Saviour, teacher, Judge…but then he went back home and lived in quiet obedience for the next decade or so…and in this awesome but simple reality, Jesus has a powerful message to us human beings in the realities of our lives.
Was God not in Mary’s painful, jerking journey to Bethlehem just prior to Jesus’ birth…as one who travelled in an old car that kept breaking down in the summer heat of the Australin Outback as we travelled 1000 miles to the town we were moving to when I was 8 months pregnant with my first son, I have the greatest compassion for this exraordinary yet ordinary woman, our great Mother. I ended up in hospital, she had no hospital to go to. Mary this most privileged Mother, like her son, went through so much. She too had long stretches where she could only wonder, where she had only the memory of the Angel’s promise, and the memory of Jesus’ insightful escapade at age 12. Later, she heard the dangerous whispers, and her poor mother’s heart! She knew the growing danger he darling Son was facing, and I can only imagine how her heart was acerated in seeing thathe’d bee tortured, as He dragged along to calvary and hung dying on the cross, and how wretched she felt in seeing Him deserted by most of His friends as if His life was a failure. He dies like a criminal and a failure…and yes, later, He rose…but she lived through the misery and the ordinariness as truly as any of us. So did He.
So this silent gospel is God’s message to you dear friend.
And my answer to your question, which I know is a painful one.
With love, Trishie