Jesus loved surprises. His Father in heaven was the God of surprises, so it would naturally follow that Jesus reveled in surprising people with good things. In the Gospel today he surprises a woman who has been plagued by a physical problem, and the parents of a little girl thought to be dead. Both woman and the parents desperately hoped for a surprise. They were not sure there would be one, but they were at least open to the possibility. Jesus liked people who had the openness of spirit and mind to be ready for surprises. Those who in the core of their personalities believed in a God of surprises.
Thatís just what The Father in heaven wants of all of us.
Jesus would have had a much harder time helping the cynical, the sardonic, the bitter, the conniving who might want to purchase miracles from him. So the simple faith of these simple people occasioned the grace that Jesus had within him.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time, a certain pastor, worn out from phone calls and summons to the office was slipping off to the land of Nod when a call came from the teenager who manned the office in the evening. Father, thereís a kind of cute elderly man down who wants to talk to you. ďKind of cuteĒ meant that the young woman did not deem him dangerous. The man was well-dressed, handsome, genial, Yes, kind of cute.
Probably a nut said the pastor to himself. He wants to complain about the sermons last Sunday or the Bishop or the Pope. Yes, he said, not particularly happy to have been disturbed so late on a cold winter evening. You donít remember me, do you, father? Iíve seen a lot of faces in the last forty years in a rectory. No reason to remember me. I was hitchhiking home from college because we didnít have much money in those days and I borrow fifty dollars from you. I promised to pay you back and I never did. You were from Notre dame? Thatís right, Father. What my kids call a Domer. I figured Iíd better pay you back. What kind of interest do you charge?
The priest remembered that he had like the young man because of his grace and charm. No, interest he said. That wouldnít be fair. The man took out his checkbook. How about two hundred percent, he said as the grinned and wrote a check. Could I bring in my kids and introduce them. Megan, he said to the teenager, who he knew had been listening at the door, could you make us a pot of tea?
1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts
for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where no water
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