Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Grandfather of Jesus

A three-and-a-half year old boy was standing with his mother after Mass and asked me, "Are you the grandfather of Jesus?" The embarrassed mother hushed him and apologized. She said, "He comes to Mass every Sunday and he is looking for Jesus and can't find him. I tell him that he is in the round bread, but that doesn't look like Jesus to him. He was distraught at Easter because he wanted to see the truly real Jesus since he came back from the dead, but all he sees is you."

The poor little guy. He is looking so hard, but he isn't so different from many of us.

I was able to experience Jesus tonight as we gathered to pray for peace in Syria. The Arabic-speaking Companions of Jesus gathered in our chapel and had a prayer service. I could understand nothing about what was being said, but I certainly knew that everyone was praying for the presence of Christ to them and to the people of Syria.

Even though Arabic isn't the language of Jesus of Nazareth, it is still nice to hear a language that is close to the sounds he would have spoken and to be with a culture that is not far from what he experienced. It was nice just to breathe and relax in prayer. Christ's presence was in the room and these good young men and women were sincerely pouring their concern out to Jesus. The prayer of the Church is remarkable in its many forms and it whatever language is spoken. Prayer elevates our cultural differences and brings us closer together. Prayer does have the capacity to bring peace and solve our differences.


  1. We also had a prayer vigil at our church last evening. We are a very multi-cultural parish and community so we were a people from all over the world praying in solidarity for peace in Syria and all over the world. The presence of Christ is in the people of the assembly.

    1. Prayer is powerful because it is so gentle.