Monday, February 16, 2009
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
MARK 1: 40-45
FEBRUARY 15, 2009
When I was in the seventh grade, we moved from our apartment in the Bronx to a house in the suburbs, White Plains, NY. Like all the other houses on our street, we had a lawn. My Dad grew up in apartments in New York City. We never had a lawn. So Dad bought books on lawn care, gardening, and general yard maintenance. Each spring he would put string around the outside of the lawn attached to sticks. This meant stay off the lawn because Dad had fertilized it, planted grass seeds and watered it regularly so that we would have a nice grassy, green lawn.
In May the new grass would grow up and fill in bare spots. We had hope that our lawn would look nice like Mr. Marcotte’s across the street. But by July, the sun or whatever had burnt up the new grass. Brown spots and crab grass seemed to be winning over, even as we pulled it up. Our lawn was leprous. Poor Dad would try each year, but the lawn just was not meant to be.
The good news is that my Dad could go to church and still receive Holy Communion. God did not care if Dad had a leprous lawn. God loved Dad anyway. Dad may have felt badly about how our lawn looked in relation to other lawns in the neighborhood, but God did not care. God’s love is constant. Today, we are in a great recession. People with houses, lawns, and jobs, are becoming afraid that they will lose these things. Retired people worry about savings. When times were good people may have tried to keep up with appearances in the neighborhood, with lawns, cars, and other things. Now people might wonder, in their fears, if their neighbors and acquaintances will still talk to them if a job or home is lost.
The good news is that God will always accept us and talk with us. God’s love never goes into recession. It is constant and always present for us. God does not value us by our lawn, our home, our bank account or any economic, social status. God made us in God’s image and finds us lovely to behold.