By Fr. Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S.
Growing up, my siblings and I liked to pretend that we were explorers looking for clues to those who settled in that area years ago. One frequent site we visited was an old dump back in the woods. We would spend hours digging around in the mud and junk looking for treasures.
One day we found several blue and white pieces of ceramic that formed a pattern unfamiliar to us. We dug around and found more and more pieces which soon took the form of a plate. We thought we found a treasure and took the pieces home, cleaned them up and glued them together as best we could. Mom said the plate was a Blue Willow pattern. Some of the pieces fit together nicely, others were chipped and weathered, and some pieces were never to be found. Even in its brokenness it was beautiful to us.
When I think it about our lives, we are a lot like that broken plate. None of us are perfect. We all experience suffering, sin, disappointments and loss. St. Paul speaks of having a thorn in the flesh that he asked the Lord to remove three times. Jesus said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” The apostle Paul makes it clear that God does not leave us when we sin or when we are weak. The Precious Blood of Jesus has been given to us as a source of life and strength in our weakness. In the mystery of God’s plan, maybe this thorn in the side we experience remains a part of our life to keep us humble, to remind us of our total dependence upon God.
We are called to embrace the thorn, the brokenness, the hole in the soul, and place it in the open heart of Jesus. Our weakness and brokenness in life reminds us that all power comes from God. He looks upon us as his treasure, not a perfect treasure, but one that is seeking a deeper relationship of love. What is the hole in your soul, that place of pain and brokenness? Rather than trying to ignore it or cover it up, turn it over to the Lord and let the Precious Blood of Jesus fill what is lacking. Allow the Blood of Christ to remind you of how precious you are in God’s sight.
We gather at the Eucharist not because we have everything together, but because we need a Savior. Some parts of our life are clean and bright, others are fractured and broken, still other parts will never be found or understood. We bring our lives as they are and place them in the chalice as our offering to God and through the Blood of Christ we hear Jesus say, “You are my beloved. My grace is sufficient for you. Come, rest in me”
Fr. Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S., is the pastor of the Dayton Region Seven parishes, which include Emmanuel, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph.