So many rich words from today’s readings… “though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he years the cry of the oppressed”; “the Lord hears the cry of the poor – those crushed in spirit he saves”; “I have competed well, I have finished the race”; “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted”.
Growing up in Houston, I remember my Grandmother telling me stories of her days working at St. Joseph’s hospital. I remember the hospital building from my childhood – as you drove into downtown Houston on IH45, St. Joseph’s Professional building was easy to spot – the tall brown building was adorned with a cross.
In my ignorance of youth, that cross didn’t mean much to me – now the building has been placed on the market and the cross has been removed, and today that makes me sad. That place is where one of the Sisters gave my Baptist Grandmother the beautiful rosary of one of the Sisters who had passed away, and at my confirmation in my 17th year, my Grandmother gave that rosary to me.
My point here is that we serve this amazing God, this presence – who we only know through faith, feeling His presence, reading His word – who protects and loves and cherishes us, and yet we remove these symbols of him from our world – these reminders of his death on the cross. And yet, he remembers the least of us. Patients entering those doors, no matter what their financial status, were treated and cared for by the Sisters, who were being Christ to others. He is always closer to us than the air we breathe, and yet some will hesitate to mention His name to others, share the gospel, be Christ to others – the homeless on the street, the elderly, the forgotten.
HE hears us and loves us unconditionally – we cannot forget him. He will never turn His back on us when we feel deserted because He will stand by us and give us strength. He will never forsake us because we are poor or weak. He knows all, sees all, and is the final judge who judges justly and affirms the right – BUT, we must honor Him, revere Him, REMEMBER HIM, love and respect Him, and continually, and most importantly, pray to Him and never lose sight of his goodness and strength. Our faith in Him is what saves us, our love of Him is what sustains us, and His goodness and mercy are what carry us through our deepest hurts and our most joyous moments.
Patty Masson resides in Houston, Texas.