The Spilled Water of Others. 

This coming Sunday is the anniversary for my ordination of becoming a deacon. There have been a lot of years since that day and so much has happened that as I sit and reflect. I can remember so much good, and there’s been some bad; there’s been a lot of unexpected experiences, and yes, sadly, there’s been some horrible ones sprinkled in as well. 

I tried to think about the importance of this anniversary, and I realized that the words that I often remind others who are aspiring to be a priest are true:  you have to be a good deacon first. And the way that you become a good deacon is that you recognize that you must be less than other people in order to serve. You must be able to keep your eye on something greater than yourself, and even something greater than them, and find ways to remind them that God is alive and well even in a weary world, and that God wants nothing but the best for us even in our current state.

That’s not always easy to do, and I certainly have failed in many ways over the years, and today I can tell you that I’m even a little weary, but I also know that I believe in God beyond the shadow of a doubt, and I love my ministry at Saint Miriam, and that I will try to endure for whatever time God has given me left to continue to serve.

I heard a story once that I’d like us all to dwell on over the next few days. I’d like us to reflect on the words of someone, who took the time to write this story, and I’d like us to reflect on our current life.

“A young man comes to the priest and says:

– Father I won’t go to church anymore!

The priest answered:

– But why?

The young man replied:

– I see the sister who speaks ill of another sister; the brother who doesn’t read well; the singing group member who lives sinfully; the people who during the mass look at their cell phone, among many and many other bad things I see so many doing while in church.

The priest says to him:

– Okay, I want you to do me a favor: take a glass full of water and go three laps around the church without spilling a drop of water on the floor. After that you can leave the church.

And the young man thought: too easy!

And he did the three laps like the priest asked. When he finished he said:

– Ready, Father!

And the priest replies:

– When you were walking around, did you see the sister talk bad about the other?

The young man:

– No.

Did you see people complain to each other?

The young man:

– No.

Did you see anyone looking at their cell phone?

The young man:

– No.

Do you know why? You were focused on the glass so you wouldn’t spill the water.

The same is in our life. When our focus is on our Lord Jesus Christ, we will not have time to see people’s mistakes or sinfulness. Those who leave the church because of people, do so because they never came in to find Jesus in the first place.”

Perhaps this week we can all renew our focus on Jesus, rather than the spilled water of others. This Sunday, let us gather in love to see Love.

See you Sunday!

Father Jim

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