July 25, 2021


Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul

Reflection for the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time.


At the risk of sounding irreverent, I will tell you a true story from the annals of my years teaching little children in Religious Education programs. Once Father was speaking with my second graders about their upcoming First Holy Communion. Wishing to determine how much they understood about the Holy Eucharist and the Mass, he asked this question:


“Does anyone know how Jesus comes into the host at Mass that will become your Holy Communion?” Hoping for a theological discussion on the Consecration at Mass, he was surprised at the great silence as the children pondered this question they had never heard before. Suddenly my half-pint professor raised his hand and said, “I can tell you what you want to know, Father!” Wrinkling his little face and balling his fists tightly, the child said, “It’s like this: Jesus scrunches Himself all up real tiny and squeezes into the host and there He is! THAT’S Holy Communion!”


Sometimes when I am contemplating the sacred Host at adoration, I think of that little one’s answer, and I marvel at the unquestioning faith of a child. Jesus, our Great God, makes Himself available to us in a little bit of consecrated bread, working marvelous miracles of Grace for us. God seems to like to use little things to do great things.


Instead of appearing on earth suddenly on the throne in the great palace in Rome, Jesus chose to take up His first dwelling in a tiny manger in a hidden animal shelter in the little town of Bethlehem.  At the wedding feast of Cana He used ordinary water and miraculously changed it into fine wine for the guests. When He wanted to feed five thousand people on the hillside in Palestine, He took two little fish (sardines?) and five small loaves and blessed them, distributing a picnic lunch that satisfied five thousand men, with plenty left over for the next meal.  And when He desired to remain with us for all time, Jesus took rather tasteless unleavened bread and some table wine at the Last Supper to bestow on us the greatest Gift of Love, the Holy Eucharist.


In today’s first reading (2 Kings 4:42-44) and the Gospel (John 6:1-15) we are reminded  that small, earthy things become, in the hands of God, wondrous means of showing His greatness. He tells us that He can use the poorest of us, and our own poverty at that, to do splendid things to save the world from despair and hopelessness. Nothing is too small, too imperfect, too insignificant to be a conduit of God’s power and goodness. Nor should we ever think that we have nothing to offer God or His Church. We are sons and daughters of the King, so He can use us even in our brokenness and littleness to make a difference in the world that hungers for Him. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI says we are coworkers, warts and all, and reminds us of our exalted calling. Let us, then, rejoice in our universal call to holiness. If we think we aren’t strong enough to do much, let us remember the wooden manger, the jugs of water, the sardines and the unleavened bread. We may be dust, but in the eyes of God we have great promise.


May you find within yourself the loveliness God sees in you.


“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

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