A special thank you this week to Olivia, a young kindergarten student at our school, for her answer to a question I asked when I visited her classroom the week before last. As part of her class’s Thursday morning bible share, I asked them “Tell me about Jesus? What was He like?” And her answer: “Jesus is like a shadow. He is always there even though we can’t see him.” Such insight from a 5-year-old and a blend of deep faith – “he is always there” – with an intuitive understanding of the human search for the presence of God – “even though we can’t see him.”
Olivia’s words became the inspiration for my homily last week: what are the ways in which we are shadowed by God? Even her use of the term “shadow” implies that God is mysteriously present to us both in the light and in the dark, in ways we might sense or may not sense at all. This is a comforting image for people who might be going through some dark times or shadow times: divorce, serious illness, loss of a job, mental illness, or depression.
I have found, in my time here at St. Francis, many ways and examples of the way the shadow of God falls on our parish. It flows from our shared Sunday experience: gathering, listening to the Word which tells us who God is and who we are and, through the Eucharist, being sent out into the world as bearers of God’s grace and peace and goodness. That is who we are called to be as a Church. In my time here, I am grateful to be part of a parish like that.
Blessings on your week!