USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.
But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
Good News Reflection:
As you know, Ralph and I have been caregivers for my parents since we moved them into our home four and a half years ago.
Ever since my father’s need for us increased last September because he finally quit driving and then further increased when he fell on December 2nd and cracked the C2 vertebra, one thing I’ve noticed is how wonderfully the Lord takes charge of the timing of everything and handles the details — if we entrust it all to him and make ourselves available to him as servants of love. Details fall into place at the right time, in the right way.
For example, on the day that Dad fell, I “just happened” to be working at home instead of the office. The Holy Spirit had told me to stay home, although when I made the decision, I didn’t realize I was hearing the Holy Spirit. The realization hit me when my mom rushed into the house and called out to me, “Terry! Dad just fell on the driveway and he is unable to get up!”
Being in sync with the Lord’s timing has occurred again and again, like when I “just happened” to visit Dad in the rehabilitation center as a nurse came in with questions that I could answer better than Dad. And when Doug, a church friend of my parents, stopped by to visit him at the same time Mom and I were there. Doug knows a lot about local assisted living facilities and nursing homes, thanks to his ministry of visiting the sick. He ministered to Mom and me as he gave us a few recommendations and listened to our concerns.
This past Monday, I became (again) very aware of how wonderfully the Lord works with timing and details beyond our realizing it simply because we are available as his servants of love. Before heading to the office, I stopped by Mom’s room to say good-bye. Unbeknownst to me, she was worrying about their finances getting depleted because of the cost of the assisted living home that we had moved Dad into on Tuesday of last week. She believed that she could not spend any money on herself, needing to protect every penny so that Dad can stay in this assisted living facility.
She asked me, “What do I do about Mimi? I don’t want to lose her.” Mimi is a woman she began paying several months ago to come to our home 3 or 4 times a month to spend time with my parents and transport them on errands so that Ralph and I don’t have to be available all the time. Mimi has been a huge blessing to us all. With her background in psychiatry, she knows how the brain changes in the elderly. She has been a very helpful confidant to Mom.
Now that Dad is in good hands in the assisted living home, Mimi is not needed for him any more. Mom believed she could no longer spend $50 for Mimi to come and visit only with her. So I assured her that she does need to spend money on herself, too, for the sake of caring for her own needs. The money they share as husband and wife is not meant to be just for Dad. I pointed out that Mimi’s helpfulness to Mom also helps Ralph and me.
And I consoled her with Matthew 6:25-26.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink …. Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
“Think of yourself as one of God’s lilies, Mom.”
It was exactly what she needed to hear. BUT — I didn’t know it when I first stopped in to say good-bye. In fact, this was the second conversation I had with her on Monday morning. In our first conversation, we handled a bunch of questions about my father and what we need to find out about his physical therapy, getting him to doctor appointments, and other research I would do later that day.
Then I went to Ralph and updated him about what I said to Mom. He brought up something that made me think, “Oh! I should also talk to Mom about this.” I went back to her — and I found her crying because she was worrying about their finances.
What this shows is that, when we’re available to the Lord, we find ourselves in the right conversation at the right time. God synchronizes us! God sends us even though we don’t know we’re being sent. If we fail to say everything that God wants to say through us, he’ll find a way to remind us. He’ll bring it to our attention so that we can finish what he wants to accomplish. We are synced to serve!