February 26, 2022

I was once riding in the back of a city bus that stopped at a grocery store.  An elderly woman exited the bus, but did not go inside.  She just stood there, on the curb, weeping.  The bus driver, who was just about to pull away from the bus stop, shifted into park, opened the door, exited the bus, then hugged and consoled the woman for about a minute.  He eventually returned to the driver’s seat and we pulled away.  I overheard someone say that the woman’s husband had just recently died.  How often do we turn a blind eye to suffering because it makes us feel uncomfortable?  How often do we hesitate to take a risk on authentic ministry because a situation does not fit into our neat understanding of life?  How often do we rationalize away an opportunity to genuinely reach out in service to our sisters and brothers?  It is precisely that false feeling of safety that will make us spiritual zombies whose rituals and religious words are hollow.  Let us therefore have the guts, this coming week, and in the months and years ahead, to actually pull our buses off to the side of the road (Lk 10:34) and meet the Christ whom we have been claiming to seek after all along (cf. Mt. 25:44-45).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica. 

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