22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Doug McManaman
Reproduced with Permission

Homily delivered at CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health), Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario.

I recall driving through the mountains of upstate New York with a friend of mine who teaches chemistry. It was during the March Break, and so there was a great deal of snow on the mountains.

As he was looking out at the mountains he said: “The most powerful force in nature”. I asked him: “What is the most powerful force in nature?” He said: “Water”. He continued: “When the weather gets warm, all that snow will turn into water and it is all going downhill”.

And it is true; water is the most powerful force in nature, more powerful than fire, more powerful than wind. Water can take a huge bulldozer or an 18 wheeler and toss it along as if it were a twig.

But water, this powerful force, always seeks the lowest place. If there is a leak in the roof, the water slowly makes its way to the lowest place, the basement, and soon the basement is flooded.

Water is a perfect symbol of God, who is all powerful. God is the most powerful; there is no limit to His power. There is nothing God cannot do. And yet He revealed Himself in the Person of Christ. He became flesh and dwelt among us. And He, like water, sought the lowest place. He was born in a stable among smelly brute animals, excluded from the comforts of an Inn. He was born into a poor family: Joseph offered turtledoves in place of a lamb, at the Presentation, because that was the offering of a poor man. Christ said: “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. And he died on a cross, totally humiliated and rejected.

God is like water, He seeks the lowest place.

God continues to seek the lowest place. He dwells in humble souls. He chooses to make His home in the souls of those who feel worthless, who feel they are nothing, who are neglected, who feel unimportant, souls to whom no one pays any attention. That’s where God is comfortable, in the souls of the humble.

So when you feel unimportant, when you feel forgotten, when you feel that you are nothing, that you are worthless, when you feel terribly sick and in darkness, rejoice in the depths of your soul because you have become the dwelling place of the Most High God. Delight in the fact that you have the honor of housing the Almighty in the hiddenness of your soul.

And if you are a nurse, keep in mind that the patients that you serve have the honor of housing the Almighty, and however you choose to treat them, keep in mind that this is how you are revealing your love for God, or your lack of love, depending on how much patience, love, and reverence you show them. Amen.