I’ve been feeling a bit unsettled lately and can always count on receiving some sort of inspiration from the least expected places, so today I was paying more attention than usual – the key, it seems, is to remain open enough to hear the message when it comes through. Lately I’ve been feeling down due to some unfortunate events involving two friends – or at least they used to be friends. What came through today is something all people who claim to believe in the teachings handed down by the Christ need to be reminded of regularly – and without exception I believe even those who claim to follow those teachings need a reality check now and then.
So what snapped me back? M*A*S*H. Hard to believe, I know, but now and then something truly poignant happens and someone says something inspiring. Today it was Father Mulcahy’s homily about a young man with leukemia. He too was feeling down about himself and was looking for, as he said, a “pat on the back.” His words:
“God didn’t put us here for that pat on the back. He created us so he could be here himself. So he could exist in the lives of those he created, in his image.” ~ Father Francis Mulcahy – M*A*S*H
Wow. Such profundity in so few words. I think we often forget we are created in the image of the Divine and that each of us are a direct reflection of that creation. So, how do we treat each other? Do we give each other false hopes and nothing but lip service, or do we instead tell the truth and remind our neighbor that their behavior lacks the reminder that we are all God’s children – no matter what faith tradition we follow.
The next time I feel like I’m owed an apology, like I’m owed a pat on the back, or that I’m owed a friendly reminder, I’ll instead try to remember there are others who too are owed apologies, who need to be supported and uplifted, and who in general have a greater need than I do – others who are just like me; a reflection of the Divine.
Be a reflection and reminder that we are all of the God.
The Rev. Father Kenneth Nelan is the pastor of the Sacred Wandering Pastoral Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He is also the celebrant of the Sunday Mass broadcast on Facebook.