By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“God our Father, …Sustain all those who hunger and thirst for you without knowing it, through the same Christ our Lord, Amen.”
As I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours with the Church this morning, the words above seemed to echo through time and space. I often think of how the prayers of those who came before me (parents, grandparents, godparents) have sustained me and helped me get to the place I am today. But this prayer expanded my awareness to see that I must be grateful for the whole Church who, from the moment of my Baptism nurtured me with her prayers and motherly care.
As we care for a limb suffering from poor circulation, so the Church cares for all the members of the body, especially those who are in danger of falling away. Every day, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, and echoing through time and space we hear the words: “May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.”
We are truly One Body in Christ. Just as what is good for us is good for the whole Body, what is bad for us is also bad for the whole Body. Sin is never individual; when we sin, we hurt ourselves, and when we hurt ourselves, we hurt the whole body. Our sin slows the flow of grace (or cuts it off completely in the case of mortal sin) to the whole section of the body that we are directly connected to and does not allow it to function properly. These dysfunctional relationships affect us all in one way or another. If we want to effect change in the world, we must act within our circle of influence, and that circle begins with our own hearts.
As I sit here today and see all the work left to do to make my heart a true vessel of grace, I take comfort that the same Church that nourished me and brought me to where I am today, will continue to sustain me and bring me to my true home one day. May the Lord give me the grace and joy of seeing there with me all those He gave me here, that in the midst of the mess that all of our dysfunction and sin bring, we may bear our crosses together and glorify His name…”for our good and the good of all his holy Church”.