It’s a familiar sound now; that ping signaling a new text on my phone. To my surprise the text from my niece was a photo of my grandniece and her best friend in hospital gowns. I quickly responded asking what was happening. I learned that Amanda, my grandniece, was undergoing surgery to donate a kidney to her friend. Both are in their twenties and Christine had been on dialysis for a number of years. For Amanda, this decision was a no brainer. She was a perfect match. Her best friend would die without a transplant.
Amanda’s friendship, love and compassion flowered into an extraordinary act of kindness. Most of us will not be given this kind of opportunity for generous and courageous self-giving, but every day holds countless possibilities for helping one another, for spending time with someone in need, for supporting and enriching the lives of others. We catch glimpses of God in the midst of the darkness of our times when we see and experience acts of kindness and compassion.
The Christmas season is over and the Church’s liturgical calendar tells us we are back in ordinary time, however our experience of the past several years tells us this is no ordinary time. What once was ordinary day to day life is now colored by uncertainty, change, the unexpected. We are being invited to pause in the midst of what sometimes feels like chaos and to find therein new paths for self- giving, for courageous and compassionate living.
As followers of Jesus, let us nurture and celebrate every expression of goodness, integrity, and beauty in one another enlivening our hope for the restoration of peace in our world. In today’s gospel Mary tells the servers “do whatever He tells you” knowing Jesus would provide what was needed. When we pause and with openness take time to listen to God’s voice deep within, God can refashion us into people of mercy, truth and love. With faith in God’s abiding presence we receive the grace to do whatever He tells us.