Several people have questioned my recent hiatus in blogging. I was touched to know that people missed reading my posts. It has been an unusual schedule these last few weeks: funerals for two of our sisters and our beloved Bishop John McRaith, preparing financial documents for the coming year, and working a retreat at Brescia University. What connection do busyness, budgets, and burials have?
Let me start by referring to the Gospel reading from John that we heard at Mass on Sunday, March 19th. It is the story of the woman at the well. A Samaritan woman, no less, someone that Jesus should not have had contact with because she was one of “them.” Jesus crossed social and religious boundaries to offer the gift of living water, life eternal.
Busyness: That same Sunday evening, March 19th, was the beginning of a busy persons retreat at Brescia University that I helped with. This retreat is designed to help one come from the sometimes hectic, busy schedules of daily life to set aside some time with God and to share with a retreat director. For what are we thirsting in our daily lives? How do we make time for that solitude with God?
Budgets: Creating a financial budget helps an office or business run smoothly, allotting funds for appropriate categories so that hopefully we don’t end up in the red at the end of a fiscal year. Families or individuals sometimes create budgets to see exactly where their money is going and how to cut back to save for a trip or create a nest egg for retirement. The point I’m making here is that with a budget we are preparing for the future.
Burial: Death is inevitable for each of us, that is the only thing that we can be certain about in life. Whether sudden or after a lengthy illness, death is not always easy, especially for those of us who are left behind to mourn the passing of our loved one. What we do have is our faith and hope in eternal life – physical life on earth has ended but a glorious life in heaven is beginning.
Now, let me try to tie these three together. In the busyness of our lives what are we doing to budget time to spend with God now so at our time of burial we embrace eternal life? Here is good advice from the recent words of Pope Francis, “Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square following his weekly Angelus blessing, the Pope urged those present to give the Bible the same place in daily life as cellphones and asked: “What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?” (from Vatican Radio)
WOW! I can only imagine how much fuller my life would be if I did this practice. The challenge for you and I is to find that balance in our busy lives…even 10 minutes a day is a great start. We thirst for the Divine and God knows our desire. May we be saturated with the Word of God.