Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jesus was amazed...


"He was amazed at their lack of faith." -Mark 6:6

Before I write entry I feel like I have to explain what a facepalm is. According to the website (a meme is an internet sensation), a facepalm is defined as:

The act of placing one’s face in one’s hands, or “facepalming” is a gesture of nonverbal-communication common among many cultures. The action conveys a message of dismay and is often a reaction toward someone’s momentary lapse of logic, judgement, or memory. This reaction may be directed toward another person or be self-deprecating.
One of the most popular facepalm images around is one of Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek the Next Generation, clutching his face in disbelief.

This is the famous picture:

Because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesn't work.

And this is the image of Jesus I had in the gospel today. I never liked the idea of a Lovely-Dovey Jesus. I just believe that it doesn't make sense to me. I could be wrong. But a guy, who happens to be the Divine Incarnate, who was amazed at people's lack of faith is just very funny. Funny cuz its true. It is a great gospel passage in Mark that occurs when Jesus returns home. I am guessing he is back in Nazareth which is in Galilee and he's teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath. Here is the gospel reading for today (2-3-10):

Mark 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,
accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”

This is the first half of the reading. It is a good place to stop for now. I gotta wonder, what is Jesus thinking at this very moment. Two things to point out here, one they obviously cannot deny the wisdom of his teaching and two, they grew up with him. They have seen him grow from a child to an adult and they missed it completely. God was literally right under their noses and they missed it.

How many times have I not even notice God working in my life? Or forget to thank Him for the blessings He has given me? Insights supplied by the Holy Spirit? It is really ridiculous sometimes how God works. Here is an example that happened to me yesterday on the Presentation of Our Lord.

I have always wanted to meet Christopher Cardinal Schönborn.

He is the guy who pretty much organized putting together the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Yeah he's kind of a big deal, people know him. I have wanted to meet him for a simple reason. When I was in the seminary, I was assigned to work at a nursing home every Wednesday. One of the women who I would meet with was named Frida, she was from Austria and she would write the Cardinal letters. He would write back hand written letters to her and they had a correspondence together. One of her prized possessions was a picture of her and the Cardinal together. This just amazed me. First of all for anyone to write a hand written letter is almost unheard of these days. Second it is a CARDINAL! This guy made time for her. He was the Director of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He was/is a busy guy.

Quick trivia: Most of the catechism was originally written in French because not all bishops knew Latin as well but most knew French.

At World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in 2005 he was giving a talk and was not able to make the talk because of all the traffic in the streets. I missed my opportunity. Yesterday I went with my friend to daily mass. I usually go to St. Francis on 34th Street but she said, "do you want to go to St. Patrick?" I said sure. I got there at 4 did a holy hour/nap (Hey, I was tired don't judge me! (At least I'm honest about it.)) . When the rector came to the pulpit he said Cardinal Schönborn wanted to celebrate daily mass at St. Patrick's. I nearly jumped out of my seat I kid you not. I was like a seven year old girl meeting the Jonas Brothers, I was so excited!

After mass I waited in the back and I thanked him for a his great gift to the Church and told him that he was great gift to the Church. I asked for a blessing and he asked me what am I doing with myself. I said, I am discerning the Jesuits and, get this, he said, "What a beautiful vocation!" And then gave me an extra blessing!

I was completely taken away! I am so used to people saying something like, "I'm sorry to hear that..." or "what do you want to do that for?" or like my mom continually says (by the way she seriously said this to me yesterday again), "what a waste..." Talking to him in person was truly a gift from God.

The great thing about this Providential event is that there was no planning on my part. I didn't do anything to deserve this great meeting. God just did it because He loves me. This has caused me to look more deeply at the things I have been taking for granted; namely, for me that is my family. I really do not appreciate them enough. They have been such a wonderful support during this difficult time for me. I really need to pay attention to how wonderful my family is because I missing the presence of God in my life like the people of Nazareth did to Jesus.

Here is the rest of the gospel reading:

And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

He was amazed at their lack of faith. That line amazes me. When I finished reading the gospel all I could hear was the sound of Jesus facepalming.

"Oh Israel! You just don't get it do you..."

"Oh Louis! You just don't get it do you? This isn't about you. Your life is not about you, it is about God."

Here is to hoping I can stop missing the mark (the word "sin" in Hebrew means to miss the mark) and start paying more attention to God's Love and Presence in my life.

1 comment:

  1. No one lives outside the walls of this sacred space, existence.
    The holy water, I need it upon my eyes: it is you dear, you each form

    What mother would lose her infant- and we are that to God
    never lost from His Gaze are we? Every Cry of the heart.
    is attended by light's own arms

    You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you
    anything you can touch - God brought it into the classroom of your mind

    Differences exist, but not in the city of Love
    thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same.

    I have just peeled the skin from the potato
    and you are still contemplating its worth
    sweetheart; indeed there are wonferful nutrients in all
    for God made everything

    You joined our community at birth
    with our father being who He is, what do the
    world scales know of your precious value
    The priest and the prostitute the weight the same before the Son's
    immaculate being
    But who can bear that truth and freedom
    so a wise man adulterated the
    every wiseman knows this

    -st francis assisi