Living day-to-day in the presence of the Lord

We are an Easter people. We live in the hope of the resurrection and we are meant to live in the presence and power of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit helps us live day to day in prayer, Sacrament and service so that we can confess that Jesus is Lord and come together as the Body of Christ. The Spirit helps us to live like Jesus so we can share in His eternal life.

We just finished celebrating the Easter season and are called to go on mission. This is our Pentecost and it presents us with an opportunity to consider how we are living each day. School is out and summer vacation has begun! What are your plans? Do they include relying on the power of God’s Spirit? Are you open to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit allowing them to grow in your life? Most of us do live in the presence and power of the Spirit, but not fully. Is it because we are limited by our fear, our sin, our low expectations, or our tendency to be distracted from God’s work in us? Pentecost offers us a chance to confess our weakness to live by the Spirit and to ask the Lord to fill us anew with His power every day, including our time off from school and work.

Sometimes we think we should never be mean, angry or upset. That is our goal. But, we are human and we need the understanding and encouragement of others, not only when things go well, but also when things in our daily living, like school, family or friendships are not going well. How can we “mend our ways,” “mend our relationships,” or “mend our behavior with our friends”? How can we find peace when we feel stuck in anger, weakness, or sin? Who or what can help us? Where in your life do you need the “grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit”? How will you find the gifts and talents God has given you to do all this? Maybe you already have them, but you consider them unworthy. Nonsense! All of God’s gifts have a purpose. You have a purpose!

Have you ever heard the legend of Our Lady’s juggler? There was a young man who was a juggler and he lived from day-to-day on the small donations he received. One day on his travels he was passing a monastery and he started to think and pray. Maybe, if they let me enter this monastery I can do something positive and save my soul and have more meaning and happiness in my life. He thought about it and joined the monastery and began living his life in God’s service. It was the custom in that monastery to celebrate one of the great feasts of Our Lady by giving her a gift of some kind. The monk who could write composed a poem. The artist monk painted a beautiful picture. The monk who gardened arranged a bouquet. The new monk did not know what he could do. He wasn’t good at anything except juggling. He was ashamed to give this gift. What good was juggling? 

But very early on the day of Our Lady’s feast, while it was still dark, he quietly borrowed three oranges from the kitchen. Then he crept into the chapel. “Forgive me, Mary,” he said. “I do not have much, but what I have, I give you.” And he began to juggle the oranges. He threw them up, around, behind his back, and never missed catching them once! Juggling always made him happy, and he hoped that Our Lady was happy, too. The head of the monastery, the abbot, happened to be praying in the chapel. He watched the young monk as he juggled, and when he had finished, the abbot said to him, “Little Brother, thank you for your gift. You have brought joy to Our Lady and to this house. Be ready to juggle for everyone at the feast today.”

There is a saying, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” And there is only “one of us.” We are all unique and we all have a share in eternal life. It’s there for the taking. But, in your day-to-day living, do you ever think of eternal life? One of the dictionary definitions of eternity is “without intermission.” If we think of eternity as having no beginning and no end, that is, it always was and is and will be, then we are living in eternity now. There will be no intermissions. We will just keep on going and going because we are in communion with and in union with God. Our task is to renew this union with God day-to-day and receive more eternity, more life and more healing. And we do this every time we receive the Eucharist. 

God bless!

Anchor columnist Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.

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