My mother had neighbors across the street named Ron and Judy who had three children. We were good friends because Ron was a letter carrier in Saint Petersburg and I was a postal clerk in Tampa. We were chatting in his garage on a fall evening in early November in Florida. Judy is an artist and he was helping her on a craft project by cutting out small wooden objects on a band saw which Judy would decorate at a later time and take to craft shows. The extra money was used to supplement their family income. The oppressive heat of a Florida summer had abated somewhat and it was a pleasant evening. Ron’s conversation with me was interrupted when his two young sons showed up in the garage because they were in trouble and breathless. Not sure what they had done, but to a 12 and 15-year-old child, they were on the carpet before their dad and it was serious business. I remained silent and watched a loving dad reprimand his sons. He never raised his voice and continue to work on Judy’s project. As he talked about the infraction there was love in his voice and admission by his sons to what they had done and consequences and an apology with a promise not to let it happen again. All this while they shuffled their feet and he continued on his project. This happened years ago but I still remember that evening.
I mentioned earlier that Ron was a letter carrier, but I did not mention that he was a disabled Vietnam veteran and only had three fingers on each of his hands. He died due to complications from the medications he took for is his injuries.He was so loved by his community and the Post Office that he worked, they renamed his substation in his name. He not only had a relationship with his sons but with his work community. He was a loving and good man. He also had a relationship with Jesus which is why I think he was such a good dad.
In our readings today and in the reading of the past week, we see a loving Jesus seeking a relationship with so many people that they crowed around him and so much so that it was impossible to eat. What we see that Jesus could not stop building that relationship and how that connection was so important to both Jesus and those that were there, that nothing else matters.
“Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
Jesus is just as eager for that relationship with us today and just like Ron and his sons, the relationship was not one of yelling and screaming for any misdeed, but one of a loving relationship, communication, forgiveness and repentance. Why is Jesus always seeking us and why are we not always seeking Him ? His relatives thought that Jesus was out of His mind, but it is exactly what Jesus wants. He is always willing.
How does a person start? It is easy if the one on the other side is willing. So all it takes is you. If you do not have that relationship already which I am sure most of you do, then start with a baby step. Just like Ron’s treatment of his sons, the sacrament of Reconciliation is a good start. Just remember that Jesus is not out of His mind, but is always willing and forgiving of a repentant heart.However, your relationship is not just one of repentance. Your relationship is one of council and direction. “Lord what do you want me to do?” “Lord should I marry this woman?” “Lord how could I better serve you.”
My church is Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Saint Petersburg, Florida and we have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament the first Thursday of every month. If you don’t have time during the week, there is always time before and after Mass in any church. Your relationship is talk and even though you may not hear His voice, you will get His direction. You may also feel His presence when you do something for another human being that no one but God will know.
Jesus public life from the wedding feast at Cana to His Death on the Cross was, as the author of Hebrews reflected, filled with an effort to instruct us and to have a relationship with us. Love one another and have that relationship with Him.
“How much more will the Blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.”
Jesus died on the Cross and did it so we could have a relationship with us by gaining redemption for us ” with His own Blood”. That is love. We need to talk to Him.
God Bless You
Readings: Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14, Psalm 47:2-3,6-7,8-9; Mark 3: 20-21