We are certainly living in a quickly changing time. When I was in grade school in the 50’s (gulp), adults talked about great occurrences 5, 10, 20 or 30 years prior. These days, something big is happening almost every week. We have an important election coming up and never in my lifetime have there been two candidates that are complete polar opposites. It’s kind of scary! Yet, has anything really changed since Jesus’ time? The persecution of believers began when Jesus started his public ministry. Humanity has changed very little. We have a fallen nature that we need to fight against every day.
If you grew up in a God-fearing family and have strayed away from the faith of your youth, then today’s reading from Ecclesiastes might be good for you 11:9 – 12 – 8. “Remember your creator in the days of your youth”. I can certainly relate to those words. I was touched by the Lord at four years old in the basement of a Free Methodist Church. I sometimes wonder if I would be a deacon if weren’t for the Pastor’s wife that picked me up for Sunday school. She modeled prayer and love for Jesus. She loved that little guy (me) and taught him well.
I doubt that the disciples in Luke 9:43 – 45 thought much about their childhood. (Remember, Jesus is the one that told them to back off and let the children come to him.) Jesus says, pay attention to what I am telling you. Yes, I know that he withheld its meaning from them, but given time they still didn’t get it. Except for John, where were the others at the foot of the cross? Wasn’t Jesus always their refuge? Yet, in our daily moments of distraction from God due to our sadness, grief, anger, loneliness, being forgotten, self-pity, etc., we may step away from God’s refuge and wallow in our own misery. But wait. Is that really necessary? As Catholics we have the greatest gift in the universe. It is not a symbol or a thought in our minds and hearts. It is truly his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity that has entered into us in the Eucharist. Yes, it is true. If you would like a refresher, go to John 6 and read it several times. It is Jesus himself teaching the universal Church about the Eucharist. And what happened after that? They all left. … except the apostles. Jesus did not soften his words to pacify the crowd. He delivered it as it was, solid truth. And now, 2000 years later, people are still walking away from him, not believing his great gift of the Eucharist.
Yes, our refuge is in him. He gives us what we need. Just imagine being in His arms as John was at the Last Supper as he was giving himself to them (Eucharist).
Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of eight children and twenty-nine grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002. He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.