Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Meeting God through a Possible Child

"I'm not a problem...I'm a possibility."

So sang a group of youngsters at the ceremony marking their graduation from primary to secondary school.


What a marvellous self-affirmation from these children! God bless those teachers who instilled this truth into these young boys and girls!

I think of my own childhood when the Parish Priest complained to my mother, "Why has God sent me such awful altar servers? He, poor man, was referring to my twin brother and me. Between us, at different times, we had ruined his precious sanctuary carpet. One by vomiting on it, the other, as thurifer, by burning a hole in it. I wonder if we were more problematic than other youngsters. Surprise, surprise, we both became priests!

Possibilities...not problems. After more than sixty years I vividly remember the time when my eldest brother proudly showed Dad a wooden aeroplane he had carved. He eagerly waited to be congratulated. To his heart-breaking dismay Dad threw it on the fire and then gently showed him how he could do a far better job. Even now, this same brother of mine is making exquisite model planes and boats. The complacent under-achieving model-maker carried within him the seed of so many creative possibilities.

For me, this goes t the very heart and soul of the Gospel -the heart and soul of the way Jesus related to people. He saw them as possibilities rather than problems, or, perhaps saw that their real problem was that they despaired of their possibilities.

Time and again Jesus reached out to the despised, the marginalised, to those at the bottom of the pile that is humanity. And there he affirmed them. He saw them as people capable of being transformed by his saving love; people of God -given dignity, people worthy of respect and acceptance ...from Jesus himself...and from the rest of us.

Many did not admire Jesus for "lowering" Himself like this ...not even his intimate friends, the disciples. While he was never standing on his dignity, they were blustering among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus gently, but firmly, cut them down to size.

"Anyone who wants to be first must make himself last of all and servant of all. Then he took a child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him , and said to them, 'Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me: and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me,'" (Mk. 9).

Jesus would have us know that this greatness, that his greatness as the Son of Man among men, his greatness as our Lord and Saviour, lay in his giving himself to people, welcoming them, believing in them -even children. It's so wonderful, so beautiful that Jesus should be able and willing to fulfil their possibilities...our possibilities as only he, the Son of God, could do.

The way of Jesus, godsway, was surely one of extreme optimism -possibilities, not problems. If I am to make any significant difference this must be myway.

Peter O.P.

Next week Isidore will reflect on meeting God in the Questioning Sphinx

No comments:

Post a Comment