The other day, the Gospel reading for daily Mass includes a scene and revelation of Jesus' interaction with a large crowd. The people had given up their usual routine to listen to Jesus and very much so, to receive miraculous healings of a few.
The many were drawn to Jesus's miracles and living words not only for the few physical miracles of healing, but no doubt because Jesus' Word provided hope and loving healing for their minds, hearts, and souls.
We are familiar with the depiction of Jesus with the crowds, particularly in this section of Scripture from St. Mark's Gospel. What we may have (as I surely have!) focused upon or remembered is Jesus' taking a few loaves of bread and some fish, multiplied the food, and fed the five thousand (or however many there were in the crowd and with food left over).
What struck me, though, in this reading out of many readings through out my life, are Jesus' words: "My heart is moved with pity toward them...."
I am reminded of how warm and loving in a most personal way is our Lord Jesus Christ. He loves us deeply and is very approachable, relatable, and interested in the details of our daily lives, always. Jesus sees us and knows our thoughts and feelings, our trials and successes. He feels our wounded memories and physical hurts, our mental and emotional upsets. He realizes we do not know what is coming next, not really, no matter how secure we may think or feel we are in this temporal world.
Jesus takes pity on us. His heart is moved with pity toward us.
Somehow that makes me feel assured this morning. I'm struggling to get the body up and about again, although the pain level is high enough to make me very fatigued. A couple or more weeks ago I started to cut back on some pain meds for they only take the edge off, anyway. And increasingly they are a hassle from which I desire to be free.
However, I am praying now about if it is better to humble myself and be stuck with hassles and be more functional, or if better to be fatigued from too much pain and have to remain more on the mattress.
It is a small thing. Determination and mind over matter can help a human push through some levels of pain. Faith can move mountains, as Our Lord, Living Word, tells us. Yet we also know that in our weakness, He makes us strong. Sometimes the gift of humility includes having to be hassled, having to be tied to even little bites of God-inspired, man-produced medicine. Sometimes we have to live with the ignorance of people who hold bias or make misinformed, blanket judgments of such things.
Also small in the full spectrum of life is an overused, injured elbow. I'm wondering why it took over three years or more for the elbow to give out? Even that does not matter. What is before me is that it has given out, and seven days of rest for the back and elbow was disrupted for the elbow by using the right arm to swish dirt down the tub drain yesterday for a much-needed bath.
The problem of having a right elbow in severe pain and thus unusable for much of any movements is a small problem in the full spectrum of life and of the injuries people all over the world sustain and endure. Yet, for this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit, the elbow incapacitation means very little, if any, progress on completing the hermitage which is at this point still not salable.
The finances are nearly at the end of their shelf-life. The temporal situation is becoming rather serious in that regard, and the moral issue looms within me as I had wanted to make right the injustices and deceptions of a real estate agent, a house inspector, and a first contractor (plus a few handymen at the beginning of this venture and a couple employees at a Lowe's store).
Yet, I have been asking the Lord to show me my purpose and what is next that He desires of me. Besides wanting my full love and devotion, for me to have utter delight in Him and to love Him in Himself, He wants me to be open to, with confidence, His love for me.
As to finishing this place, His goals and purpose for me may be quite different than my little temporal goal of finishing this place. He may prefer that I accept with humility that I will not finish and will not have much financial means to go forth with financial freedom or at least the means to exist more comfortably than not, temporally.
He also may want me to see yet again that my goals and ideas to honor my parents' lives of hard work and savings and desire for me to have a more comfortable life after years of suffering and struggles, by my working hard, and instead to let it go this close to completion.
His goals and purposes are not always--and I submit not usually--what our goals tend to be. The dichotomy seems to lie in that we may not be differentiating between the temporal world and the spiritual realm; we tend to see not so much as God sees but as we or others see. It is not wrong to think it a good effort or work to want to change something temporal to a better temporal good. Fixing up a neglected farm house in order for someone else to live here with enjoyment and comfort is a good effort.
Yet, the completion may not be for me to do. I just don't know yet. And that is a good point for all of us to remember, that none of us knows the day or the hour. We do not know the outcome of the next minute in our lives, let alone hour or day or week or month or year.
Rather, we live in the Order of the Present Moment with St. Joseph as our patron, with the Virgin Mary as our motherly mentor, and Jesus Christ as Savior of our eternal souls and our assuredly Beloved Spouse.
Truly, Jesus' heart is moved with pity; He takes pity on us.