Have you ever thought that you misplaced something, and then found it a few minutes later, directly in plain sight?
My glasses are a constant reminder of how God moves in my life. I am constantly searching for them. There have been times when they have fallen into a piano or underneath the pedal board of the organ console, and six months later they’d be recovered during a routine service call. I’ve left glasses in countless friends’ vehicles as inadvertent souvenirs of our time together. Lost glasses have been recovered while perched on the top of my head for off-label usage as a hair accessory. One time, we turned the parish office upside down and finally located them in a seldom-opened drawer in the kitchen. It was a little embarrassing, but my coworkers were unbelievably compassionate. Without their help, my glasses probably would have remained in kitchen-drawer exile for at least a month. More often than not, eyewear reconnaissance efforts are patiently staffed by my friends, family or coworkers.
This weekend, the scripture we will hear at mass reveal how our relationships can lead us to discover something far more important than a missing pair of glasses. In the first reading, we hear about Samuel, who had did not have a highly developed awareness of God. It would have been impossible for him to independently recognize that God was communicating with him. Initially, Samuel thought his mentor Eli was calling him. Even though Eli quickly realized that Samuel was being called by God, Eli helped Samuel to experience the call for himself. Samuel found the truth of God unexpectedly. Other times, we might be searching for truth, and still be surprised. Andrew and John, son of Zebedee encounter the Messiah because of the relationship they’ve built with John the Baptist. Later in the day, Andrew shares the news with his brother Simon, later called Peter.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians pushes the message one step further. Paul reminds us that the Spirit of God dwells within us. He also reminds us of our call to unite with one another so that we may live as Christ’s body on earth. In our friendships, partnerships and alliances, we are called to live in such a way which honors the light of Christ who dwells in each one of our hearts. We are called to reveal Christ to one another, to be Christ for one another, and to work together to reveal the glory of God’s love to the world.
Over recent months, we’ve had several successful community events which began in our conversations, and came to fruition through dedicated collaboration among parishioners. There are many members of our parish who maintain an ongoing commitment to serve our community while they continue to satisfy responsibilities related to employment and care of their families. Others volunteer during hectic seasons of the church year when many hands are needed to lighten the unwieldy workload. It is especially commendable that many parents volunteer along-side their high-school and college-aged children.
When I began ministry to St. Clare, parishioners approached me to express their hopes and dreams for the future. There are many good things yet to come, many great memories, and many signs of growth. It’s encouraging to encounter so much positivity, enthusiasm and engagement. You are bringing your friends, relatives and neighbors to Christ. From what I have experienced, especially recently, you are building the church of our hopes and dreams.
Christ is in our midst. It’s your decision to follow. It’s your decision to learn more. The presence of God we seek is closer than we ever imagined.
Kind of like my glasses. In my favorite prodigal glasses story, a very patient friend simply looked at me and said,
“You’re wearing them.”
Indeed. So too have we put on Christ. Sometimes the very things we are looking for are no further than the tip of our nose.