Sunday, August 28, 2016

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

"The one who humbles himself will be exalted." Once more, we return to trust, a trust that challenges me viciously, particularly now as I contemplate the coming death of my friend Fr. Greg. My fear is not of death itself, but about the possibility of being forgotten; not me personally, but rather this work, this calling. Perhaps because he is a Capuchin, my mind keeps comparing Greg's situation to the death of St. Francis. I do not expect that Greg's brothers will strip him naked and lay him out on the floor of his hospital room. But I do know that my friend's final days have been just as sublime of a prayer as were Francis', and our Brother Jesus' for that matter. Their deaths exalted their vocations. Will I share such a fate? Or will my fears come true: a pointless death for a forgettable prophet.

But if I and my message are forgettable, is it because that reality is exactly what God desires? Every scheme to make this work go viral has failed. Was that because I did not try hard enough or because that outcome is contrary to our Parent's plan? Personally, I lean towards the latter, because they are really good at telling me no. Should I take this revelation and start a new church/religion? NO. Should I go out and find me some disciples? NO. Should I package and sell it like every other wannabe guru? NO. Should I do any of the things that sensible people do when they are trying to spread a message? I think you get the answer by now. The memo they keep sending says, "Take your place at the wrong end of the table and trust us to do our thing as we see fit." Alleluia! Alleluia!