Have you watched “The Chosen” series yet? I am hooked! Dallas Jenkins has produced an amazing series all about the life of Christ, and portrays Jesus in a very personal way as he “chooses” his disciples. In this free series (available with a free app on your phone or on YouTube…click here for the link to the trailer), you see a very human side of Jesus and his followers. You grow to love them…as REAL PEOPLE...not just figures from ancient times. You will get to know them and truly love them as you watch the first 8 episodes in season one, and the beginning 4 episodes from season two.
My intention is not to write a commercial for “The Chosen“…but I am mentioning it as an intro to my reflection. In the newly released Season Two, (episode 3), which I recently watched, some of Jesus’ apostles are sitting around a late-night campfire…exhausted after travelling all day, while Jesus is away tending to the hundreds of individuals who had come to him to be healed. Jesus’ mother is with them around the fire. As the conversation wanes, Mary (Magdalen) asks Mary (Mother of God), what it was like when the Messiah was born. What was it like to hold him and to see him for the first time? Mary shares with the group that, as a young teenager…far from her home and without her mother present…it was difficult. But when Joseph handed Jesus to her for the first time…she was surprised by his weakness…his neediness! She admits, with a chuckle, that she didn’t know what she had expected…but, knowing that the child she bore was indeed the Son of God…she was surprised that he was so helpless. He was shivering and cold…and he needed her! As she put it, “He needed ME…a teenager from NAZARETH (of all places!)” How could GOD…the beginning and the end…creator of everything and everyone…make Himself be so fragile and needy?
It got me thinking about the differing reactions that people have when they see someone who is helpless and needy, (whether it be an individual, a nation or an entire culture). It seems that weakness attracts two types of people. Firstly, it attracts those whose hearts go out with compassion, and whose instincts are to help the one who is weak. But weakness also attracts those who want to take advantage and abuse the weak (person, nation or culture)…for their own advantage. Like a bird of prey, seeing an injured animal….they swoop down for the kill.
Maybe, in God’s genius, this is one of the ways that He separates the weeds from the wheat…the sheep from the goats. He comes to us as a helpless child, and dies as a disgraced criminal…in order to draw those with compassionate hearts….and to repulse those who disdain weakness. The haughty are repelled…and the pure of heart are drawn to him.
So, with that thought in mind…let’s take a look around right now at what is happening in the world. It appears that a small group of very powerful people are becoming more and more rich and powerful…while the vulnerable people of the world are being made poorer and more helpless. When I concentrate too much about what is happening on a global scale, I waste valuable time that I could be helping my neighbor. I lose my peace when I could be praying. There is nothing I can do to change a single globalist who has evil intentions for the world…but there is a scared young woman who has an appointment to have her baby killed this Wednesday at Planned Parenthood. I can be there to offer her another way. She probably won’t listen to me. But I can be there anyway, as a witness to the importance of the dignity of her child’s life and the life of all…especially the most vulnerable.
I can’t do big things, but I can do small things with love. I think that is the answer for times like this.
I am thinking of Jesus’ parable of the servant who is waiting for his master’s return from the wedding. He didn’t know when his master would return, and it would have been tempting for him to sit back, put his feet up, and help himself to his master’s wine. Instead, the faithful servant kept his lamp burning and was ready to welcome his master when he returned. I think that is us right now. I know a lot of pro-lifers have given in to discouragement because of the current political circumstances. But our Master is on His way back. We have to be working when He returns!
Our 40 Days for Life 365 team has been working really hard trying to recruit volunteers to make sure there is always a gentle, smiling face on the sidewalk in front of PP on abortion days. It is difficult to motivate and inspire people to do such a discouraging thing…but we are trying! Christine, a new volunteer emailed me yesterday with some words of wisdom that I would like to share with you:
Yesterday I realized, again, the importance of DAILY prayers, scripture, reflections, Mass and the Rosary…when the suffering in life, grief, the sidewalk, leaves us feeling empty, we desperately need God’s grace to fill and lift us up again. Our Daily Bread saves us from plummeting to that low state that is very difficult to recover from, and keeps us faithful to our calling.Christine
We will continue to keep trying to recruit more volunteers like Christine, who are rooted and grounded in their faith, and so who are able to persevere….at least throughout the summer, until the fall 40 days for life begins (Sept. 22). If we are not successful, we will just go back to our regular twice-yearly campaigns. It will be a shame to leave the sidewalks empty, but we can’t force people to do this, and we will have to accept failure, knowing that we gave it our best shot. Please pray about it. Ask God to show you if He wants you to make a regular commitment…to make it part of your weekly prayer routine…to pray in front of PP. Let me know if He is calling you, so I can plug you into the schedule.
This week, we have no one to be with Chris from 2:30-3:00. On Friday we have no one at all from 2-3pm and no one to be with Christine from 3-4pm. On Saturday we have no one from 1-2pm and no one with Jason from 1:30-2:30, and no one with Mary from 2:30-4:30. If you are able to help, please contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Also, Amy at Women’s Choice Network is in need of nurses and medical personnel to staff the northside center. She actually had to close it temporarily because she cannot find enough people to work. The pay and benefits are good…and the opportunity to be used by God to save lives is the best benefit you could ever receive! If you or someone you know is interested in working for Women’s Choice Network, please contact Amy Scheuring at email@example.com.
Remember to keep your focus SMALL! Who is the most needy and vulnerable RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU? Reach your hand out to that little one and don’t focus too much on the big stuff that is going on. Stay busy doing the work God gave you to do, while we wait for His return.
May God bless you!