Grace to you!
A beggar approached the car of a young woman in a traffic jam. Afraid and nervous, she shuddered at the sight of the scar-ridden hands of the beggar, beckoning for help and pointing to the burger inside her car. The traffic eased, and she drove away as fast as she could. However, the thought, the memories of the beggar wouldn’t go away.
What if that man were Christ? Except that it would be dangerous to stop, the beggar could be a violent person; a second thought countered.
The inner voice spoke again: What if he had nothing to eat in days, and the burger on the front seat of my car would have helped him, kept him from starving to death? What if, what if…? the deliberation went on and on.
The woman felt she missed an opportunity to be Christ to a beggar. The memory was tormenting. She wanted to have the chance again. Because the thought never went away, she decided to do something to help the poor.
Many times, spiritual life is tricky. The simple and ordinary things matter a lot. Many miss them and miss opportunities. Often, we look for the grandiose, whereas Christ is hidden in the insignificant, very close to us.
A man asked, “Why would God not show us the exact thing to do, and it would have been much easier. Why not show the glory of the God-self, so it would be easier for people to believe?”
It reminds me of the story of the thief crucified at the left-hand side of Jesus, who wanted Jesus to do the miracle of coming down from the wood of the crucifixion before he could believe. The thief was looking for the grandiose and spectacular. He was looking for a miraculous sign.
We forget that God is closer and works through the natural, regular events of life. Even if God were to show us the exact sign, it wouldn’t cause many to believe or obey His word. After all, we all know what a healthy diet is, but how many of us follow through with it?
During the time of Jesus, his audience was no different. They wanted signs, more signs, and you know what? Faith that is based on signs is built on sand. Looking for signs, we fail to see Jesus closer home. Looking for signs tends to make bleak our spiritual luster and blur our eyes of faith.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ warns that it’s an evil and faithless generation that looks for a sign (see Luke 11:29).
May God give us the grace to see him in the most insignificant, unfamiliar places, as Christ passes by every day. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 28: Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1; Lk 11:29-32]