Sunday, November 23, 2014


Sunday Reflection: Cleaning

Yesterday, I tried to get my house in some order, since my entire family is coming here for Thanksgiving this year.  I tried to put away stacks of books (it was surprising how many of those there were), and cleared things out in the basement so that people can sleep there.

It went slowly.  In part, that was because I stopped and read old letters and found things inside of books.  It turns out I have saved a lot of letters, and reading them again was like getting a glimpse of myself two or three decades ago.  It wa like opening a time capsule, if things had been put into the capsule at random.

What surprised me is how similar I am now to the person described in those notes.  I would probably tell you (if you asked) that I am a completely different person now, but I'm not so sure.  Yes, I am a happier person, and more productive, but I have the same insecurities and challenges and strengths, for the most part.  There is an eternal part of who we are, I suppose...

Such a wonderful, appreciative image of the ‘old’ and reflections inspired – foretelling of a gift offered to add ‘new’ special moments when gathering as family this Thanksgiving.

Mass on Thanksgiving morning holds many wonderful memories of gathering and giving thanks as members of His Family – each in our own way – for being joined, one to the other, though as diverse as we may be – welcomed, accepted and included. . .

Your yesterday created a flood of memories also; March 23rd, Third Sunday of Lent this spring. For me, the Thanksgiving feast shared has been in contradiction with the Eucharistic celebration since childhood – and the Gospel reading from John the morning of the 23rd. (the Samaritan woman at the well) always inspires.

The homily began speaking to acceptance and inclusion and when it turned to the ‘one’ faith and ‘one’ path to salvation my emotions erupted in more than disdain, my silent questions became pleadings, my prayers angry laments. “No! No! No! How can this be, how can this continue? From those learned, ordained to shepherd and teach. No!” And in a loud whisper, heads turned when I blurted “Lord, if only you were here.”

An unexpected reply (with a, ‘well now’ attitude) ‘You were there.’

‘Lord, you can’t say that.” I murmured; and instantly life flashed before me. Radiating from a source, like spokes from a wheel, life’s encounters reappeared like flash cards imprinted with each moment, one set upon the other, faster than the eye could follow, though no detail forgotten – acts of welcome, acceptance, inclusion and yes, disinterest. . all. . .

Uncharacteristically I left after the Eucharist, struggling with the tricks my mind was evidently playing on me. . .

Faith reminds, Jesus came into the world to fulfill the law and establish a New Covenant; no longer to write upon stone tablets, but to write upon our hearts. A promise of new life in Him, that His sacrifice, His last breath became our first – filling the vessel of life at the moment of our birth completely with unconditional love and the gift of the Holy Spirit; and calling us in similar fashion as he spoke to His disciples upon their return to the well that day.

‘”Do you not have a saying: ‘Four months more and it will be harvest!?’ Listen to what I say: Open your eyes and see! The fields are shining for harvest! The reaper already collects his wages and gathers a yield for eternal life, that sower and reaper may rejoice together. Here we have the saying verified: ‘One man sows; another reaps.’ I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the labor, and you have come into their gain.” John 4: 35–38 (New American Bible)

In faith, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for each of us. And I doubt the reply to my pleadings that morning at Mass, ‘You were there’ were for any one individual. The reply was for all of His children. He has promised to be with us always – He in us and we in Him. He has written upon our hearts, sending us forth to gather for Him.

And this Thursday when you gather, may your table be open to all, set resplendent with the ‘cup’ of your choice. For mid-day at Jacob’s well, Jesus was not concerned about obeying the law by not speaking to a woman (not his wife or of his family) especially a Samaritan woman, and he was not concerned of being ceremoniously unclean by drinking from her ‘cup’. He requested a drink and to partake from it. . .

“There is an eternal part of who we are, . . .” We are one forever in Him and through Him. May your Thanksgiving gatherings be filled with Grace, Blessings and Love.
Lovely... I feel like this every time I open cookbooks on my shelves. I have notes about recipes and e-recipes inserted in so many pages. I am always surprised and a bit delighted to see them a remember the occasion.
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