Luke 19: 41-44 You Did Not Recognize
After I had finished my meditation, I received a special grace (“miracle”). Although I was feeling horrible, I had made a commitment to celebrate Mass for the cloistered sisters of Mt. Carmel. I packed my items and headed towards my car. I went into my garage, started my car and pushed the button to open the garage door. It didn’t open. I could see that it was trying to open, but the spring had broken. Sometime during the night, the spring snapped and made it, literally, impossible to open the garage door. I couldn’t believe it. I tried opening the garage door manually and it was impossible: too heavy. After trying to solve the problem for fifteen minutes I finally gave up. I called the sisters and apologized that I wouldn’t be able to make it to Mass. I went back to bed! For me, this was a special grace and an incredible reminder, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
This is true for me as it is for you.
The life of a priest is not the same as the life of a lay person. Four years ago I made a Lenten resolution. I would give up free time for Lent. I made good on it. Kept a demanding schedule and followed through. I thoroughly enjoyed it. After Lent was over I kept it up. Of course I put in moments of prayer, relaxation, reading and studying. But the life of a priest is none other than to give Christ to others. We are all called to holiness. We are all called to be Saints. But the priest is called in a very special way to bring Christ. When I visit a patient in the hospital, I bring Christ through the anointing. When I celebrate Mass, I bring Christ through me, with me and in me. When I baptize a child, it is Christ that baptizes. When I hear a confession, it is the Lord that forgives sins. The priest is not like Christ. The priest is another Christ. Although this may scandalize a few, it is a reminder why the priest abuse charges was and is a scandal! We are called to be ALTER CHRISTUS. “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Today’s responsorial psalm is so fitting: The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God! (Rev. 5:10)
The Lord speaks to us, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.” At the end of our day, what will bring us peace? Will it be death (Rest in peace)? No. At the end of our day only Christ will bring us peace. He is the Creator of the days. He is the Master of time. Many times, throughout the day, the Lord remains hidden from us. We should know better. We are not at the end of the tunnel. We are in the middle of the tunnel where it is dark, terrifying and lonely. We should all know better. The Lord says I walk with you. I guide you along the way. You serve me as I serve you.
The Lord provides the graces we need. But we are free to respond to them with a yes or no; with peace or interior turmoil; with a smile or with a frown. I wish I always responded with a resounding YES, with PEACE in my heart and a big smile on my face because I know, in the end, the Lord will always provide…“If this day you only knew!”
Heavenly Father, you alone know the hearts of your faithful people. Enkindle in each one of us the fire of your Holy Spirit. May your visitation today be a welcomed comfort, a guiding light, a loving touch and a firm hand in the moments of discomfort, darkness and confusion. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.