Monday, February 6, 2012

The God of the Sick and the Desperate

Today's Gospel Reading is about Christ coming to the land of Gennesarat where people come in droves bringing their sick to the marketplaces, hoping only that His tassel will touch these sick so that they may be healed.  Our God is a God of the sick and the desperate, but it isn't because He wants it that way.  He would rather walk with us all the time, every day, but all too often we push Him away until we're too sick and too desperate to do anything but pray that just a bit of His grace will fall our way.

He walked with us every evening in the Garden of Eden, and that's how He wants it to be.  It's our sins, not His , that prevent it from being so.  God tried to walk with the people of Israel when they were fleeing from the Egyptians, appearing to them as pillars of fire and pillars of cloud, but once the desperation was gone the people begged God not to speak directly to them anymore and not to appear directly to them anymore because it was, "too frightening". So God sent prophets instead.  God had Moses build the Ark of the Covenant so that He could be carried wherever His people went, but David wasn't happy with that so He built God a temple, and the people put God in a temple.

God then united Himself to humanity by becoming human in the womb of a virgin so that He could walk amongst us and live like we did.  Of all the people who could have walked with God in those days, it was only those who were sick and desperate, broken and hurting, cast out and cut off from society, poor and uneducated, were willing to welcome him closer.  The rest of humanity scoffed, telling themselves they didn't need God.  Then we crucified God, crucified Christ, for daring to step outside of our carefully crafted box, the box we wanted Him in, the box that He was too big to fit into.

But God was too big to be stopped by something as insignificant as a crucifixion. So He returned, He conquered death for us.  He gave us a gift of the Eucharist, that ability to consume His very life in the form of bread and wine so that He could literally be with us all the time.  Yet, even now, we don't come.  We don't receive.  In many larger towns, one can receive Him daily, yet how many choose to come? We come when we are sick, we come when we are so far gone that we are desperate for His help.  God doesn't want to be the God only of the sick and the desperate, but sometimes those are the only people who see and acknowledge the needs they have, the only people who will come to Him and let Him be a part of their lives.  God wants to be the God of  you and me, but we keep putting Him in a box, locking Him away, telling Him, "Lord, go up to your place of rest!" (Psalm 132:8).

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