After moving to Texas, I found out that it takes a some effort to stay in touch with people you love who live far away. E-mails, phone calls and birthday cards suddenly become very important.
Those of you with family in Mexico know how true this it.
Those of you who have children away in college or family members in the military or grandchildren living in other states know how true this is…You know how important things like phone calls, e-mails and birthday cards really are.
Unfortunately, folks often overlook the fact that that the best and most effective way to stay in touch isn’t through phone calls or e-mails…
Rather, the best way to stay in touch with someone you love is through prayer…daily prayer.
Today’s gospel story provides an excellent example of what I’m talking about. In today’s passage, Jesus says to Thomas, “Thomas, you believe in me because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen, but believe.” Jesus is making a statement about staying “spiritually connected.” But what does “spiritually connected” mean?
Think of it this way: Just as Thomas’ fingers gently traced the scars in Jesus’ skin, our prayers gingerly touch the souls of those we love but cannot see.
For instance, when I pray for my brothers working in the fields back home, for a few moments, I hear the noise of the tractors feel the dust on their faces and breathe in the smell of the soil.It is then that I’m able to rest in the knowledge that God is with them in their work and daily struggles.
When you pray for your mother or father in Mexico, for a moment you see them in the kitchen of their home…you imagine the glow of sunlight on their face then you place them in the hands of our Lord, hands scarred with the wounds of a love beyond all imagining.
When you pray for the sullen teenager in your house who doesn’t want to talk to you, what you’re really doing is entrusting that young person to a Shepherd who has assured us that he will lose not one of his sheep. (Astonishing things take place in the experience of prayer.)
When you pray for your sister diagnosed with cancer, you look into the face of the One who healed the sick and calmed the storm of the sea.
When you pray for an end to the violence, when you pray for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan when you pray for our country and its leaders…you are placing our world in the hands of the One who…like a potter molding clay… molded the earth with strong and patient hands.
And when you pray for yourself…in your loneliness, in your fear, with the heavy weight all the worries and troubles in your life…you’re not only praying for yourself, you’re re-discovering the true identity of the Risen Lord.
“Blessed are those who believe…without having to see.”
So, you see, the best way to stay in touch isn’t through phone calls or e-mails, it’s through the prayers we offer to God. Indeed, in our prayers we not only connect with the people we love, we connect with the God who loves us.