I watched the woman walk out the restaurant doors, still feeling where she had placed her hand on my shoulder. I didn’t know whether to laugh, or cry at the beautiful compliment she had just gifted me… us. Had she seen us on most any other night, most any other restaurant, we most likely would have been fighting with our daughter to put down her media and talk to us…. Say something of her day… share some small bit of herself before taking back up the game / video / photo she was so engaged in. We, my husband and I, would have given up, eventually, forcing ourselves to appreciate the time together with each other, if not as a family.
But no… on this night, what she saw was real. We were all talking and sharing and laughing and celebrating our day. And we were enjoying it and not thinking about it.
Which was the true us, then?
My mind flashes back to the sermon my church pastor delivered last Sunday. As always, it was beautifully written. But in this case the words reached deep down into me and made sense of my world on a micro and macro level; because he said, “we are remembered by God.” And in this remembrance we are loved and God’s mercy provides forgiveness.
When this truth penetrates our hearts … then we begin to have the courage to give voice to the Word of Mercy, to walk in love and to proclaim with our lives that the clanging cymbals of conflict cannot crush the crowning charity of Christ!
Thus the importance, my brothers and sisters, of not letting the constant barrage of current affairs, whether international or local, whether outside our families or within our families, whether distant from us, or in the depths of our own hearts and minds … thus the importance of not letting this constant barrage of current affairs sow discordant tones in our minds and hearts and keep us from the merciful and harmonious hope of the Word … God remembers you!
Now we need more than ever, this Word, the very Word of God from the depths of his being, now more than ever we need this hopeful memory – God remembers us - to sustain us in hope, in faith, in love so that the fire of that Word may enflame us! Now more than ever we need to experience God’s mercy, sacramentally and in our daily lives, so that we can proclaim the torrent of God’s mercy that engulfs us! Now more than ever we need to spend time in the desert, letting our primary news source come from the tabernacle, not the TV. Now more than ever we need to stand upon the heights and look east and see: though insignificant to Caesar, we are remembered / and by the power of that mercy, by the power of the truth that God remembers us, say to everyone we meet: God remembers you! Fr. John Marie Bingham, OP - Blessed Sacrament Church, Seattle
May this Holy Season bring you, your families, and our world, much peace and joy.