I’ve been thinking of my dad a lot lately. On Sunday, my wife and some of the family met out at Jefferson Barracks to visit his “resting” place, maybe that’s why he’s been in my thoughts this morning. Or maybe after reading today’s Gospel, he’s been in my thoughts to help explain the Gospel to me. My dad was never one to go into too much detail when giving us instructions or when we asked questions growing up – most the of the time these two things happened in the same conversation.
Dad…”Jerry, go clean your room.”
Me…”Dad, how is that you and Mom had 7 children and I got placed smack dab in the middle of them?”
Me…”Dad, why do we have to go to 7:30 Mass on Sunday, sit in the front pew and answer all the prayers and sing all the songs?”
And so when I finished reading the Gospel this morning and was thinking to myself what Jesus’ prayer meant to His Father and what this means to me, I could hear my dad whispering in my ear…because.
And then it hit me…sometimes “because” is explanation enough. Sometimes I’m not smart enough yet to fully comprehend a more detailed answer and “because” will have to do.
Ask my kids, I have the cleanest bedroom in the house; ask my co-workers, I have the cleanest office at work. Why? Now I know a clean room/office helps me relax; it keeps my mind clear at work that I can think about the task at hand instead of looking around and being distracted by things out of place. It calms my nerves at the end of the day to retreat into a clean room and get the rest I need to face the next day. In short – because.
Sitting in the front pew at church taught me that there are a whole lot less distractions when the only thing you have to look at is the Altar. Over time,maybe from sitting in the front pew, I came to love the beauty and tradition of my Catholic faith and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and still to this day have a deep love for my faith.
I’d love to tell you I’ve figured out all of the deeper meanings of “because” but I’m still trying to figure out how I was number 4 of 7…I will just have to live with that “because” a little while longer.
And so it is today that I may not be able to give the full meaning of the Gospel but I do know this. The Gospel is the Word of God; The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; the Word is the Truth and it was the Word that prayed for us this morning; to this there is no dispute. So when Christ speaks to me and I don’t fully understand, I still follow. Why? My dad on earth and my Father in heaven said BECAUSE.
Do something great for our Lord today – because.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.