This weekend, I returned to my college for my 25th reunion. It was great…great to return to an environment which taught me how to live and breathe my Catholic faith…great to see the faces of friends and faculty who saw more in me (at that time), then I was able to see in myself.
We were offered an opportunity Saturday evening to attend mass before we dined together. As I sat in the chapel that evening, my mind floated to the many stories connected to liturgies during my four years of college. I remembered taking a group of mentally challenged adults from the group home where I worked to Sunday liturgy…the first time I took them, I didn’t have enough friends in pews in front and behind them…so Jack wandered out of the pew and followed the priest up to the table at offertory. I nearly fainted watching the whole scene and trying to figure out what to do next as I was also playing the guitar for the liturgy. I remembered ducking into a noontime liturgy as a way of making space for all that the afternoon would bring.
As I sat at mass, memories poured out of ways in which everyday people touched me and changed me in radical ways. Sometimes those radical acts of kindness involved a walk after a long day of classes, other times it was faculty asking me questions with the expectation that I had something to offer. For the most part the most powerful memories involved people seeing beyond what was spoken, hearing beyond what was seen and then inviting me to see God’s radical presence in the moment at hand.
All of these musings and rememberings were summed up in the song used as a response to the first reading: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”
Look everywhere and be ready to hear God’s voice in the ordinary!