You, the beautiful people of St. Monica and St. John communities have invited me to dine with you. You have set me up with a little room with a bed, table, chair, lamp, computer, and Putnam County hospitality in order that I may stay with you. You are wonderful stewards of your community, love for the poor, faithfulness, small faith communities, thirst for wisdom, and Eucharist. All of us have been baptized into Christ Jesus. We were baptized into his death. Here, we learn to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus.
Bishop Felipe has invited me to stay awhile with this community just like Father Amar was urged to do three years ago. And so I have come to stay with you, break bread with you, and love ya’ll.
Jesus has told me that whoever receives me, receives Him. And whoever receives Jesus receives the one who sent him… God alone. Amazing!
Since I received First Communion, we have come up to this table with this short prayer on our lips. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
And yet we often love father or mother, son or daughter more than Jesus. We don’t always take up our crosses and follow after Jesus. We are not worthy of Jesus. I certainly am aware that I am not worthy to be your pastor. But here is the really Good News: If we give only one cup of cold water to one of God’s little ones to drink, we will not lose our reward. We are worthy because Jesus says so. His blood and love make us worthy. What a punch line!
Thank you for your cold cup of water and oh so much more. I see Jesus in you.
Once we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus we receive Jesus and God into our bodies and souls. Potential converts look at us and say, “See how they love. I want what they have!” Then we give others the opportunity to invite Jesus into their souls and give Jesus a cold cup of water. It is too easy to focus on our setbacks like our crosses, our abusive upbringings, our brokenness, our war stories, or our addictions. These are setbacks. But if we can focus on the truth that we are God’s sons and daughters, then the cross we carry becomes our joy and Good News today! We cry out, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus responds to our kindness, our cold up of water; “Today, my beloved, you will be with me in Paradise.”
As Father Amar has reminded us so often, “Why are you so stressed, if I am not? I am not attached to anything, just as long as I am with the Lord.” We are not only with the Lord, but the Lord is within us! O my!