We recently received a donation from the estate of a parishioner who died last year. If you are in a position to do so, please remember our community in your will. It is always helpful to get a little, unexpected cash.
Please keep our principal, Lori Suarez, her advisors, and our child and youth ministers, Samantha El-Azem and Sarah Daszczuk in prayer as they figure out the safest and most productive way to enter the new school year. Thank you.
Our reading from the first book of Kings is one of my favorites. Elijah is hiding in a cave for safety and he is told that God will come to him. But God is NOT in the big, impressive things (a strong wind that was crushing rocks, an earthquake, and a fire) but in “a tiny whispering sound.” A literal translation of the original would be “a still, small silence.”
That is so typical of us human beings: we tend to look for large, momentous events, when often it is the quiet, everyday events that are really important, both because they are much more frequent and because they prepare us for the momentous events. For example, on Friday we will celebrate the feast of Maximilian Kolbe, a 47 year old Franciscan who was gassed to death in Auschwitz in 1941. He was declared a saint because of one spectacular act of charity. The Nazi’s were randomly selecting prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. One day, they selected a man who was the father to a number of children. Maximilian asked to be taken in place of the man and his offer was accepted: Maximilian was gassed to death and the man ended up surviving and going back to his family.
What was going through Maximilian’s mind? We’ll never know for sure, but what he did certainly was a great act of heroism. This incident did not just happen out of nowhere. If Maximilian had been living a selfish life, thinking only of himself, the thought of doing this would never even have entered his mind, much less actually doing it. It HAD to be the culmination of a life lived for others. In other words, it was the small, everyday acts of kindness, the small daily acts of putting other people first that enabled Maximilian to rise to the occasion when a momentous decision was presented to him.
My point is this: we don’t know how we will react in a crisis situation, but the small decisions we make each day of our lives are preparing us for how we will react. If I live for myself, I will react that way under pressure. If I am living for others, others will be a part of the equation when I am under pressure. That is what Maximilian did. That is what Jesus did for us. That is what we are called to do.
I invite us to reflect this week on how much importance we put on others in the small decisions of daily life. How can I do better? And, as we struggle to be more generous, let us support each other in prayer.