Friday, September 4, 2009

He has done all things well

He has done all things well – omnia fecit bene! Mark 7: 31-37

Another successful miracle, one might say, well done Lord. We are told that ‘their admiration was unbounded’, that is, without any limits. We also note that the crowds admiration was directed at what was done. It concerned the spectacular, the extraordinary, the sensational, the big time events…. Crowds are like that, though, always being swept away by the big event, the euphoria of the moment. Often crowds, being impersonal clusters of individuals, are easily moved by what is ‘happening’ be it the football finals or the rock concert and lose sight of themselves and the why it is happening.

Why did the Lord, after all, heal this fellow? Because God cares! A seven year old girl told me: “God is caring and nice.” After all, I suppose she has a point, if God isn’t then who is! But that begs two questions: “Is Jesus really God?” and if so, “Do we really know what motivates the divine Mind?”

Jesus is God and Jesus is Man. Jesus is a Person. Now that we have the key ingredients let’s qualify some words here: Jesus is NOT a human person, as we are, but a divine Person [remember the Trinity, three Persons and One Godhead] who has two natures: the human one he took from Mary, and the divine one which was His from the beginning. Think of a coin - which hopefully will leave your pocket at the Collection – it is ONE object but has TWO sides. Jesus is ONE person with TWO natures.

Two words need to be grasped to understand this riddle: nature and person. The first is what he is the second is who he is. Nature refers to the type of being, its capacity for action. The nature of a pen is to write not to fly, birds fly and dogs bark – such actions are proper to their natures. What limits the capacity of the nature is the individual. For example, this inkless pen cannot write, a wingless bird cannot fly and a mute dog won’t bark – [probably an advantage – one might claim!].

Our mute man was limited in his capacity for action because as an individual, a bloke, of some standing for he had legs, he could not speak, yet speaking is proper to the human nature. Once again we find that it is the individual person who limits the nature. Eileen who has a gummy leg tends to lean not because human nature leans, as such, but because Eileen does! Or Ben Down a great fellow but on account of his bad back is bent forward and thus readily responds to his name!

So now we understand that it is the person who limits the nature. The nature should function to maximum capacity, if the person is one hundred percent. Now if Jesus as a divine Person and God’s Son always possessed the divine nature of God, equal to the Father, then when he took upon himself our human nature from Mary, at the Annunciation, that would have caused the human nature to be unlimited and perfect in every regard. Hence Jesus was and still is the perfection of humanity. So the little girl is somewhat right, Jesus as God would want to be nice and fix all that was able to be fixed – to make all things new!

We are told moreover that he has done all things well – omnia fecit bene! Not just the big events but the small details of life have been done well. Daily our media presents us with success stories of this celebrity or that billionaire. The big people always catch our attention, the important people; such as Michael Jackson, Teddy Kennedy… We should pray for them, remember them. However, of equal importance are the little people and what they do.

In God’s book and that’s where the records are eternal, it is the little things done with great love that will matter more than the big things done with no love at all. How do I know that? Well, Jesus spent thirty of his thirty-three years on earth giving glory to God by doing little things, the daily chores. For there is no record of any miracle worked over those thirty years at home in Nazareth. Now that is one very important lesson.

As the Lord was the best success story in the little details of daily living – for he did all things well – so too on Father’s Day it is important that we remember all the little things done by our dads. The daily unseen tasks of fatherly love should not be forgotten. We owe our fathers much love and respect. They not only gave us life but they fostered that life in so many ways. And even if our father failed us in some manner don’t forget nobody is perfect and we have only one father.

We turn to our heavenly God who cannot fail us and remember that He is our Father. We have a personal God and not some remote impersonal force. God is all about person to person contact. When the Lord healed the deaf mute, who needed His assistance – God is always there for our needs, not always our wants – he takes the man aside. For the miracle is private, the healing is personal. This man has lived in silence, contemplation, sudden noise would be alarming and cause harm to the soul. Our Lord’s primary concern is always our supernatural well being, the spiritual state of our soul. This isolated soul encounters spiritual power in a human manner. The Lord physically touches the impaired organs with divine hands. The finger of God touched his ears and tongue. That which was un-whole was made whole by holy hands.

Today that finger of God is still present in the world. At every Baptism human hands convey divine grace via words and water to give eternal life to a soul. Even this gesture of touching the ears and tongue is present in the Rite of Baptism after the anointing with Chrism. Be they young or old it is the finger of God that anoints the elderly and sick; the finger of God that conveys the ‘bread of life’ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist; the finger of God that conveys divine forgiveness in the Tribunal of mercy.

Are such events any the less important than this healing? In both cases, God as a divine Person, through simple, human gestures, administers in a personal mode – not for the sake of sensation or the crowd – healing and divine power.

As we approach the birthday of Our Lady on Tuesday, we ask our heavenly Mother to help us to imitate her Son and to do all things well. Even the little things at home: the dishes, the beds, cooking, mowing, cleaning, whatever needs to be done - we want to do it well. When in doubt about the quality or quantity of effort you require just ask yourself: ‘What would Jesus do?’

1 comment:

Gina said...

"...Think of a coin - which hopefully will leave your pocket at the Collection – it is ONE object but has TWO sides. Jesus is ONE person with TWO natures."

I like it.

..."it is the little things done with great love that will matter more than the big things done with no love at all."

My mum has always reminded me of this and still does. Even though it sounds easy, it isn't so easy to do.
I always remember the example of making someone a cup of tea - do you hand it to them without removing the tea bag or stirring it, or do you remove the tea bag and hand it to them with the sugar stirred in well.

"...whatever needs to be done - we want to do it well."

Good homily Fr.