I’ll never forget Edwina Gately. I met her at "Lady’s Theology" in the 80’s –they let people like me come in those days despite my gender. Edwina told a story about a particularly vexing day she had. On her way home she prayed that God would show Himself to her and help her make sense of her crazy mixed up world. As she neared her home she decided to stop in the corner tavern and have a drink. Not being a frequent visitor there, she figured no one would know her, and she’d be able to get a nice quiet drink and some time by herself. She took a chair at the bar, ordered a drink and then sat quietly fretting over her day.
Soon an old street person who smelled musty, wore raggedy clothes and was trembling came in and sat down right next to her. She asked Edwina if she would please buy her a glass of beer. If she would, the raggedy old homeless person promised to be on her way and not bother her any more. Edwina bought her a drink and asked her to stay awhile and talk. They did, but not for long. The homeless lady insisted she had to be one her way. Edwina told us how she realized later the visitor with whom she just shared a drink had answered her prayer.
I wonder how many times I miss God in my day-to-day living? I wonder further, if I will ever have to consciously stop reminding myself of Jesus’ promise in today’s scripture passage and just live my life as a person who truly believes that: "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am with them."
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.