To God, Even Your T-shirt Design Matters

I said mass at the Jesuit Residence today and my homily was brief. I talked about Mark’s narrative of the healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-39).

She was sick and she had very important guests. She was too ill for her to attend to their needs. Because of her Guest’s prominence as a healer, she knew people would flock to her house as soon as possible. Her house would be teeming with people. She had to serve them well! But, she was down with a fever. Fortunately, her sons-in-law and their friends knew exactly how to fix it: they immediately told Jesus. And everything turned out fine.

The disciples’ natural tendency to “immediately tell Jesus” about their concern is very striking. Do I “immediately tell Jesus” about my domestic hurdles? I would be very honest with you: I don’t. I do not want to “disturb” Jesus who has more important things to attend to like the Refugee Crisis than my banal and mundane issues. You see, we don’t bring to the highest official issues that we can solve ourselves at our level. The person in the corner office will be very happy to hear about the company’s achievements and our grandest goals for the future— not about the number of pens needed by a department.

I remember my parents. When I was young, I’d find them at the family’s table at the break of dawn, talking about what they would do during the day. Over a cup of coffee, my mom would enumerate things like going to market to buy pork ribs and taro roots for soup, or my dad would say that he had to go to the office even if he had nothing to do. In the evening, they would again share what they had done, before the rosary at bedtime.

That was how my parents deepened their relationship with each other, managed our family and focused on what mattered to them the most— yes, the “reporting” mattered.

I guess, the deepest prayers are the simplest ones done regularly, like talking to the Lord on our way to school; as we buy our toiletries at the grocery store; as we prune our garden plants; and as we wash the dishes, dry our clothes, and clean the house. We can talk to the Lord about everything and anything under the sun on our most boring, banal and hackneyed of days.

Though God is always with us, we too should consciously “bring” God wherever we are.

A kid’s story about what he ate at lunch will be trite to his parents’ work supervisor, but meaningful to his parents. Since God is our Father and we are His children, whatever commonplace things we do, God is very happy! The psalmist once wrote, “The Lord takes delight in His people” (Psalm 149:4).

The Lord, thus, enjoys that we come to him and “trouble” Him of our stories about how we have been in the daily grind of things.

 

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