Sunday, May 14, 2017

Right There In Front of Us...All Along...

Easter 5th Sunday Yr A 2017
Ss. Peter & Paul, Danville

There I stood, staring at the refrigerator.  I had literally looked everywhere – everywhere – and couldn’t find my phone.  But, you know, these days a phone is so much more than a phone.  Calendar.  Link to the outside world.  Address book.  Shopping list.  Photo album.  In the four years since beginning my priestly ministry, I probably haven’t been more than 25 feet away from my phone for more than a half hour.  Standing there, desperate, looking over every inch of the refrigerator, I hadn’t seen my phone for two hours.  Two hours!  What if Mom had called.  What if someone was in the hospital and needed me?  What urgent emails from the Bishop was I missing?  What if one of the seminarians was in trouble?  What if I was missing a meeting?  I had to find it!

It happens more often than I’d like to admit.  Keys.  Pens.  The phone.  Medicine.  You know what I’m talking about – it happens to you sometimes too, doesn’t it?  That thing you always have nearby – that familiar thing that is important that all of a sudden seems missing.  And what usually happens?

No – the phone wasn’t in the fridge.  It wasn’t under the couch, or in the bathroom cabinet.  It wasn’t in the car, in my briefcase, or even in the sacristy.  You know where it was when I found it, don’t you – because it happens to you sometimes, too.  Yep – you’re right.  It was right there on the kitchen counter the whole time.  Right there in one of the places it always is – right where I’d walked past a hundred times in the two hours I’d been searching for it.  The thing I was most desperately searching for was right there in front of my eyes, and I was completely overlooking it – not recognizing it – probably so familiar with it that it just blended into the background and I couldn’t see it.

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“Master – we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?  Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”  Poor Philip.  Jesus was right there – He’d been as clear as He knew how to be all along.  What Philip and the disciples were most desperately searching for was right there in front of their eyes, and they were completely overlooking it – not recognizing it – probably so familiar with it that it just blended into the background and they couldn’t see it.  “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” I’m right here, Jesus says, and I’ve been right here all along.  You don’t have to search any farther.  You don’t have to stand there staring at the fridge or look under the couch – you don’t have to find the next right Bible Study or read the next Matthew Kelly book – you don’t have to study theology or sit puzzling it out – I’m right here, Jesus says, and I’ve been right here all along…just open your eyes and your heart and see.

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All around the Church today folks are trying to figure out the key – what will make it all work again – what will keep our children in the community of faith when they grow up – what will keep the largest growing religious group in America from being ‘former Catholics’?  On a personal level we find ourselves searching, too: why don’t I feel close to God – where can I find the kind of living faith I hear other people talking about – what am I missing that leaves my faith feeling like an empty Sunday ritual rather than the cornerstone of a life lived on a Great Adventure?  We sometimes seem to be wandering around scratching our heads searching desperately, frantically, for something…when all the while its right there in front of us – He’s right there in front of us – right here in the tabernacle waiting for us – right here on this altar come to be with us, to love us, to transform us.  

He’s right here – He’s been right here all along – we just have to turn and recognize Him.  We just need to stop looking and come find Him here.  We just need to let all the distracting questions go and get back to the basics: Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  He’s right here in front of us…and He’s all we need.

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