by Ken Rolheiser
Recognizing God in I love you

A young lady named Sally relates an experience she had in Dr. Smith’s
seminary class. Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.

One day Dr. Smith put a big target on the wall. Students were asked to draw a picture of someone who made them very angry. All of the pictures were put on the target wall and the students were allowed to throw darts at them.

When everyone had vented their anger, some of them too enthusiastically, Dr. Smith asked the students to return to their seats and began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face, and His eyes were pierced.

Dr. Smith said only these words, “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40. There were tears in the eyes of many students.

It seems easier for us to see Christ in the suffering and the needy. Caring for the sick and binding the wounds of others lends itself nicely to “As much as you have done this to the least of my brothers you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

In “Christ in all things” Father Brendan McGuire says, “He is also in the ordinary. He is in the ordinary touch of your spouse, tonight on the way home, who says I love you. Or the look or the kiss of a parent to a child;
I love you, thank you for being who you are. Or in the tender caretaking of an elderly parent.”

McGuire quotes Jesuit Greg Boyle who says, “As humans, we confine the divine.” “We limit where God works,” McGuire says. We often think “that God is in the Chalice and not in the Cup; that he is in the Church and not in the Home. That he is in our sacred liturgies and not in our ordinary

But we all know that our Church teaches us that God is everywhere. St. Ignatius said that, "God is in all things at all times."  Carl Jung said, “Invited or not, God is present.”

Whatever we do, we do in the presence of God. Whatever talents and gifts we use, we use to serve God. So living our daily lives is serving God in the domestic church of our homes.

I am reminded of Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner, whose story is featured in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire who commented, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”

Sometimes our sense reel with the gifts of God that surround us. How much more would our joy be enhanced if we really knew God’s presence in all of his creation around us.

Whenever we use a God-given talent to do something well, God takes pleasure in it, and so too should we.

“God manifests himself in our lives and in our world… God never tries to overwhelm us… [God] respects our freedom… God lies everywhere, inside us and around us, almost unfelt, largely unnoticed, and easily ignored, a quiet, gentle nudge; but, if drawn upon, the ultimate stream of love and energy.” ( from “God’s quiet presence in our lives” Father Ron Rolheiser)

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