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Do we Look Like Believers
A family decided to take a young man off of life-support at the hospital. Before they did, they called for a priest. Typically, when I walk into a room of an elderly person, visiting friends and relatives are in conversation. When I enter a young person’s room, there is always silence. The grief is so heavy that no one speaks. So when I entered the room full of people, I broke the silence by asking them. “When was the last time you were able to talk to your loved one?” Someone replied, “Four days ago.” I then told them about the anointing and its value as a healing blessing. When I touched my thumb on the young man’s forehead to anoint him, he opened his eyes and looked at me. Needless to say, I did not expect that to happen. I didn’t know what to say at the moment except, “Hello.” He looked as if he was seeing the angel of death, wondering why a priest was standing over him. So I told him, “I think your mother wants to talk to you,” and moved out of the way. The mother came over to me, wrapped her arms around me, and said, “God did this. God answered your prayers.” Others in the room agreed. When I walked into the room, I did not know anyone. When I left five minutes later, I can honestly say that I knew them well enough to know who were the believers and who were not the believers, who had faith, and who did not have faith. The believers hugged me, patted me on the back, and gave me rigorist handshakes. They were grateful, happy, and in a state of awe. I report this to you because I know that God gives all of us gifts. At those moments, I wonder if we look like we are believers or not believers.
God went to Abraham and said to him, “let me be your God.” And Abraham asked, “What can you do for me?” God replied, “You are a wandering nomad with no land. You are also too old to have children. I can give you land. Not just land but prime real estate, right in the middle of the trade routes. Land that will be economically prosperous. I will give you children as numerous as the stars in the sky. What do you say?” And God became the God of Abraham. Since that moment, Abraham has been known as the father of faith. The reason why everyone saw him as the father of faith was because he was happy. He had reason to be in a state of amazement.
When Christ went into the synagogue, he met a woman who had been hunched over for eighteen years. Jesus cured her. As soon as he did this, the light in the room went on. Jesus could see who were the believers and who were not the believers. The believers were in a state of wonder, and they praised God.
My father called me several years ago and told me that my mother fell down the stairs in the house and broke her leg. It was three weeks before Christmas. I imagined the worst, picturing her in pain and sad to be away from home. Before I arrived at to the hospital to visit her, I stopped at the florist. He told me he had two bouquets–one small and one large. I took the large one to cheer her up. I had to put my flowers on the floor because the table was full of flower arrangements. Just after I entered, my mother’s cousin came into the room. I do not know her name to this day because my mother always referred to her as the “Hot Ticket.” She was carrying a basket. I figured it was comfort food. I was wrong. She used the basket to sneak in her lap dog. So there she was, surrounded by flowers, patting the lap dog on the bed while the “hot ticket” told her funny stories. I did not picture this at all. I remember standing there and hearing God say to me, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and the God of your mother.
Jesus once said to his disciples. Whoever believes will have eternal life. Do we look like believers when God is our God and does good things for us?Back to All Homilies