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Care in a Way that They Never Forget
My grandmother was a very religious person. So when my cousin was pregnant outside of wedlock, she avoided nana because she was ashamed. During a crowded Christmas party, my grandmother worked her way to my cousin. Nana wrapped her arms around her and said, “You make me so happy. I am going to be a great-grandmother.” My cousin never forgot that. Years later when the family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday, she told to us, “None of you are going to get anything when I die because I have nothing to give. My cousin replied, “Ma, all I want are your arms.”
I say this because Jesus did a lot with His arms. Once, He spat on the ground, extended his arm, and made mud. He placed it on a man’s blind eyes. The man washed it off in the pool of Siloam. Standing there at the bottom of the hill in Jerusalem, Jesus opened the man’s eyes, and for the first time in his life, his body filled with light, color, depth, and height. He would never forget that day.
Once, Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. When he saw the waves he started to sink. Just before Peter disappeared under the waves, Jesus reached with his arms and caught Peter. Peter will never forget that day.
Once, Jesus was in a house where a dead twelve-year-old girl was lying. Jesus extended his arms and grasped the girl’s lifeless hands. He pulled her up and she came back to life. The girl’s father, Jarius, would never forget that day.
The last thing Jesus did before He died was stretch out His arms as He died on the Cross for us. We will never forget that day.
Yet, three days later Jesus walked into a room where His disciples were gathered. He had something to give them. They inherited His arms.
I was coming back from California and I was able to sit in the much-coveted aisle seat. There was a boy sitting beside me in the middle seat. His mom was across the aisle in the other middle seat. I know she was the mom because she was reassuring her son that she was there with his colored books and snacks if he needed anything. When all this because clear to me I took my arm and waved her attention and I said, “Excuse me, could I have your seat?” She said, “Of course,” as if she was doing me a favor. When I got off the plane she approached me and said, “You are a great man.”
You will know when you are using God’s arms. They never forget.Back to All Homilies