Jason the seminarian at the Basilica really hit me hard with his sermon. I’ve always had a problem with being physically close to the altar, to the Eucharist. During Adoration or even Mass, I am never comfortable sitting up front. Kind of like in class, when you don’t do your homework or didn’t do the reading. There’s something you’re hiding, something you’re not proud of. Like when you go to an interview, you wanna be the best version of you. Or at work, you wanna bring your A game. I feel like most of the time, I just see myself as someone who can be better. And When I see God in the form of the Eucharist, it’s hard for me to look at Him in the flesh. To kiss the foot of the cross after Mass. Because I always feel like I’m not ready, like I can be better. I think, ok one more Confession and then I’ll be good enough to look at You. Because I think, God doesn’t want that brokenness. God doesn’t want to see this empty, dark side of me that I’m not proud of. So it’s almost as if I distance myself, and hide these thigns I’m not proud of – my mistakes, my flaws. I don’t want to talk about them, and they turn to be the elephant in the room because I think, God doesn’t want to hear the negative things.
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ “
And it’s days like today and conversations like this that God reminds me, and it hits me like a ton of bricks, that yeah, I’m a sinner. But how perfect is it that He’s a God of love and justice and mercy and grace. And forgiveness. It’s not only that he doesn’t care that I’m broken or messy, He wants me like this. He created me. He knows me. Jesus became human. He understands what it’s like. So why am I hiding? Why do I keep running away? Why do I make excuses to not face Him? It’s not about what I can do to be worthy, it’s about what’s already been done for me. This God, this amazing God, who created heaven and earth and put the stars in the sky and whom the seas and winds obey wants me, wants us. In all our brokenness and selfishness and messy lives. This is one of those God moments for me when I’m reading and hearing and feeling exactly what I need to be reminded of that love. Of his tireless desire for me to come to Him. And yesterday’s Holy Hour and tonight’s dinner and this Sunday’s Gospel is a big reminder for me. I was starting to forget that.