Faith – With Help From Our Friends -Joe Frankenfield
Thoughts on the First Readings
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
In a society which places as much emphasis on individual achievement as ours it’s easy to forget how interdependent we all are. Even though Jesus spoke of our being brothers and sisters of one Father and St. Paul spoke of us comprising one body with Christ, we still imagine ourselves on our own before God. Our Tradition tries to wean us away from this overblown sense of self-sufficiency by teaching about saints – not just the famous ones with feast days and statues but the little known ones in our own families and neighborhoods. Saints are the people who inspire us. Saints are the people who give us the feel of what we’re capable of if we overcome our fears.
Once we’ve known a saint, whether it’s a parent or teacher, a friend, someone we’ve worked with or someone we’ve known only at a distance, we are never spiritually alone again. A saint can be someone who rubs us the wrong way, someone we’d never vacation with but someone we can see has lived courageously, someone committed to life, someone who has done what was possible to make things better. Such a person takes up residence in our minds and hearts and whispers to us, “You can do what I’ve done. You’re just as capable of loving. You’re as able to give yourself as I. You’ve only to overcome your fears to live as you believe.”
Our world is full of saints. They’re a gift of God to us because they mirror our deepest longings. They’re both strength and challenge for us wherever we go.
Keep your eyes open for saints. Don’t look just in churches. You’re as likely to find them in grocery stores and backyards. They’re found in offices and hospitals, auto dealerships and tractors – and, not infrequently, washing dishes and putting the kids to bed in our own homes. Let them touch your lives; they’ll free you to be who you are.