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Don’t Let the Obstacles Stop You.

When I was in second grade, after receiving my First Communion, I went to Mass every day. The staff of the church thought that was unusual. What kid goes to church every day? So they came to me and told me it was not normal for me to come every day, and they added that I should instead play ball with my friends. But I thought it was perfectly normal. Christ was my Friend, and I wanted to be with my Friend. The staff asked me to leave the church and go out and play with the other kids. This, indeed, was an obstacle for me but it didn’t stop me. I was a little kid and the church had really large pillars so I could hide therein. I learned early on that when you want to approach Christ, there will sometimes be obstacles. You just cannot let the obstacles stop you.

 A group of friends carried a paralyzed man to Jesus. When they arrived, they found that the house was full, and they were unable to get the man close enough to the Lord inside. That was an obstacle, but it didn’t stop them. They went up on top of the house and ripped a hole in the guy’s roof so they could get close to Christ. There will always be obstacles. But do not let them stop you.  

There was the woman who was hemorrhaging for twelve years. Think about that for a minute. Twelve years of sleepless nights, twelve years of not being able to make a contribution to society, twelve years of spending money on doctors without progress, and twelve years of not holding a job. And there was Christ passing by her. A brief moment of opportunity. But there were problems. Jesus was in a hurry to get to a twelve-year-old girl who was about to die. Every second counted. There was also a large crowd that surrounded him. Obstacles, but they didn’t stop her. She charged into the crowd and reached in deep to touch the hem of his garment. She was cured.

Jesus was in the region of Syria. I have no idea why he was there, but a Syrophoenician woman approached Him and asked Him to save his daughter from a demon. Jesus told her that He was only concerned about the lost sheep of the house of Israel. “It was not right to take the food of children and throw it to the dogs.” That is an obstacle, but it didn’t stop the woman. She thought, “Kids do not eat everything on their plates. Kids do not eat lima beans. They lower their plates to the dogs when they do not like something. I’ll eat the lima beans.” There will always be obstacles when we approach the Lord. But do not let them stop you.

Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector who wanted to see Jesus. He could not because he was short and could not see over the crowd. The crowd hated him so they would not let him stand in the front row. Obstacles, but that didn’t stop him. He climbed a sycamore tree and when Jesus walked by the man was in full view.

Whenever we want to approach the Lord, there will be obstacles, but do not let them stop you.

During the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are reminded that the Lord invites us to come to Him at the table. Just make sure you come hungry.

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