Can Something be done for her?
This weekend begins with amazing generosity. A woman from the city of Shunem built a “crash pad” for the Prophet Elisha. His travels brought him to the neighborhood regularly. It saved a motel bill. That lavish kindness is what motivated the prophet to make this request of Israel’s God – A newborn. A son was the gift of a lifetime.
Jesus talks about that same lavish kindness in the tenth chapter of St. Matthew. A cup of cold water to a “little one” is never forgotten. The “gifter” will receive more than a prophet’s reward or a righteous person’s reward. Even more, the “one who receives you receives me.” The Master pushes it even more forward further to the “one who sent me.” The simplest acts of loving kindness proceed all the way to the halls of Creation’s God.
Finding life is giving it away, the Gospels relate. Anything one holds on to is “a waste of Spirit.” Spirit needs to be passed on, moved forward in the chain of humanity. It connects the most mundane of lives to the divine. St. Paul asked in his Letter to the Romans, “Are you not aware? Nope. For most of the time no. We miss the God who fills in the details. In Baptism, the horizon of life is changed. Possibilities and vision are enhanced. Death and self-centered sin are passé. They waste a terrifically amazing grace. “Living for God in Christ Jesus—-” This is church. Arizona ‘s COVID increased numbers require more social distance, tedious hand sanitizing and mask-wearing. We still have so many opportunities. If we can protect those about us by placing limits on what comes naturally to us, we gift the world with more of God’s presence. It is a love pushing forward by holding back!
We at St. Mary’s are in the thick of things. We are asked for concern, and for willingness to lift in prayer so many needs, especially those of folks already infected and or quarantined. Pay attention to our Book of Intentions in front of Our Lady statue in the Basilica. So many are specifying their needs and entrusting them to us. Bring your own. I am so grateful to all who have offered condolences at my brother Randy’s unexpected death last week. Particularly to those who showed our St. Mary’s hospitality to my family and friends, know our gratitude. Our ministers, benefactors and volunteers keep active the work of the assembly, the outward focus of a church active here in this ancient building. More volunteers are needed to make sandwiches this summer for Grace Lutheran’s Heat Respite program in our neighborhood. The city has made a hall of the Convention Center available for cooling and rest during the day. Making sandwiches and bag lunches is a safe activity that can be done at home. Leave your number for Robert McGarvey at the parish offices for more information. Be well and safe.
A gentle week.
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM