“How do You know me?” Do you ever wonder if God knows who you are? Many of us have known a lot of people, some more than others and a few know us, but does God know us?
We kayaked 10 miles into the outback: across Yellowstone’s Lewis Lake, up the Lewis River and halfway across Shoshone Lake to the campsite. Stepping out, stepping back: there I found the different perspective I was hoping for as we celebrated the Eucharist on the shore, looking way off across the lake. This gaze opened into infinity, finding and awakening vision: the faculty to be able to see and to understand.
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During a Roman Persecution, Pope Saint Sixtus II was martyred. Laurence was a deacon, the Pope’s right hand, and the treasurer - overseeing all the works of the Church to take care of the poor and suffering. Even knowing that the Emperor intended to decapitate the Church, and that they were after him too, he didn’t go into hiding. Rather he set himself to empty the church treasury and give all to the poor before he died! There’s a story that when he was being burned at the stake, he calmly said to his executioners: "Turn me over. I’m done on this side."
Can you imagine sitting in a small closet-like space for twelve to seventeen hours per day in all types of weather while listening to people’s struggles? That’s what today’s saint, Saint John Vianney, did day after day, helping scores of people reconcile with God - and each other - through the sacrament of Confession.
Those of you who have children, do you recall when you first tried to encourage them to take their first step? At the beginning, your child may have been content to drag him/herself along the floor reaching out for things, but it was time for him or her to take a stand and walk. All kinds of attempts were made to entice them to come into your arms and then it happened!
What a blessing! Imagine the blessing of living some thirty years in the same little village as Jesus. Maybe you and He escape the heat of summer as children by wading into the cool refreshing waters of the Sea of Galilee. Or He brings you into the workshop where you watch Joseph plaining a sturdy, sweet-scented, cedar board to be used for a family dining table.