The Catholic Church provides so many wonderful choices for all of us to praise God. Because of our baptism, we’re able to pray at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and participate in the Eucharist which is available to us every day if we so choose. We also have the Rosary that allows us to call upon Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to intercede to her Son on our behalf. We have the Sacrament of Penance allowing us to confess our sins, and we have many stories of Saints that have taught us through the years how to find God in our life.
So, let’s imagine what would happen if Jesus walked into Mass next Sunday? You would be sitting perhaps listening to the homily or watching the priest do the consecration. Maybe Jesus would walk directly up to the altar and join the priest or would sit down and join the group in the prayers and responses. Do you think you would recognize Him if He decided to stay and pray with everyone?
I read this book one time about a woman who worked from her home. One day she looked out in her garden in her back yard and saw Mary, the Mother of Jesus, sitting among her flowers. The story was about Mary wanting to take a break. The woman took Mary shopping, took her to lunch, and took her all over trying to show her the world today. She offered her a cup of tea and then turned on the TV. Almost instantly she recognizes that there is nothing there she wants Mary to see. I’m not sure how the book ended, but I thought the premise was interesting.
So, let’s imagine if the person she discovers in her garden is Jesus. She makes plans to take Him around to all of her normal daily activities and ended the week by taking Him to church with her. What would Jesus learn? Would today’s world be upsetting or shocking for Him? Would He be disappointed in how we treated one another? Or, would He be pleased with us and how we were living His Gospel?
I like to think about Jesus finding His way into our everyday lives. I like to think that He would recognize some of His many teachings that are being incorporated in our Church. Mostly, I would hope that He would acknowledge that we are living our faith in terms of how we interact with each other. I hope this isn’t where we would run into a rough patch with Jesus. Does this sound far-fetched? Hardly!
Now, let’s talk in terms of reality. Jesus is here with you daily; He’s not visiting. He’s joining us at Mass. He’s sitting with us while we listen to the sermon. He’s standing in the garden among the flowers. He’s with us when we are interacting with our children. He’s watching and participating in every daily activity. He’s watching us interact with everyone around us. And yes, He’s sitting with us watching TV. Essentially, He’s always with us.
Knowing that, are you proud of how you are treating everyone? Are you happy with your interactions? Are you pleased with how you are including Him in your daily prayers?
Do you think you can get through one day without breaking a commandment or two? Do you believe you can go through one day without hurting someone you love with comments or words? I think if we truly believe that Jesus is already with us and not visiting, maybe then the true reality will make us want to always be close to Him.
Copyright 2015 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh
“Jesus?” by Isaac Torrontera (2012) via Flickr, CC By-NC-SA 2.0