Today’s first reading begins, “I am the Lord, there is no other….” In those eight words, we’re reminded of Whom we should turn to each day. As if to acknowledge our need to have this truth firmly imprinted in our hearts and minds, “I am the Lord, there is no other” is repeated several times with support for this claim.
St. John of the Cross held dearly to those words as he sought to reform the Carmelite order. He would need this foundational belief to endure imprisonment for almost a year by those who opposed his efforts.
God wants each of us to remember that He is the One that we can turn to and find our way each day, no matter what comes. This point was reinforced for me, beginning with a note from a neighbor left outside our door and then a text from a college friend.
The note from our neighbor asked if I could come the next day to administer the Sacrament of the Sick for her mother, who was close to death. She explained the importance of helping her mother in her journey home to God and her mother’s faith.
So often today, we speak by phone or in person that we forget the power of the written word, as in today’s readings or that note. Clearly, our neighbor and friend was conveying that Jesus is our Lord, and there is no other, so she was reaching out to a priest of Jesus to provide the final means of her mother’s salvation through the Sacrament of the Sick.
With that message in mind, the next morning, I read a text from my friend Joel that began, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.” (Ps. 86:3) Joel continued by saying: “We all need to be this dependent on God! Every day, every hour, every minute.”
Clearly, Joel also believes that Jesus is our Lord and there is no other. While at the same time recognizing that our human nature requires reminders, reinforcements, and, most importantly, God’s grace to continue to grow closer and closer to the Lord.
This is what St. John of the Cross believed; that our experience of life on earth was meant to be a journey of the soul to divine union. Last evening as I visited with our friend and her mother, the three of us called upon the Lord to bless, strengthen, and forgive a woman preparing to go home to God.
My brothers and sisters, we know that Jesus is the Lord, but we need God’s help, many times through family and friends, that witness to this truth. May we take what we have received at this Mass and do the same.
May God bless you and your families on this holy day! St. John of the Cross, pray for us!
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