“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
This past Thursday night, I did the exact opposite of what one should do before going to sleep, I watched the news and scrolled through a multitude of social media feeds. With all the challenging and upsetting images swirling in my mind, I spent the entire night staring at the ceiling, feeling like I lived in a country and belonged to a Church that were both being pulled apart at the seams. On Friday morning, I sat down at my men’s Gospel group (via Zoom of course) having slept maybe 45 minutes. Our group leader decided that instead of diving into Sunday’s Gospel, we would reflect on the second reading, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians – "the one body, many parts." Truth be told, while I love my group, I wasn’t in the mood to go around and share what gift God has given me or the part I have been called to play. But as I listened to the reading again, I heard it differently than ever before. I heard God asking me, "Why do you reject the prayers I’ve answered? Why do you destroy the gifts I’ve given? You need them."
It struck me that the way I usually interpret that reading is the problem. It’s not all about what He gives me. It is just as much about recognizing what He hasn’t given to me, at least directly. When I pray for the Lord to grant me something, no matter how earnest or noble my request, can I be content believing that He may answer me by pointing to someone else? Do I search for that gift in others, especially those who are strangers, or who are completely different than me? Can I humble myself to say I’m not enough? Can I recognize it’s not all about me, and therefore that I need others? It struck me that the depth of my belief in my dependence on the Lord AND on others, is directly proportional to how I contribute to bringing this country together or conversely tearing it apart. As we celebrate the birth of our Church in Pentecost, struggle in isolation with this pandemic, and pray for peace in our country, let us ask the Spirit of God to increase our need and our want for Him and for each other.