EVER STUCK IN THE MUCK?
Dear Church Family,
That story of Jeremiah in the first reading is about a successful prophet, who had kings listening to him and everything, but things totally turned around and they were trying to kill him because he gives a hard message. They throw him in a cistern which is a big well and all there is at the bottom in MUD. I use that very pitiful and pathetic image to describe sometimes when each one of us is stuck in muck. Sometimes it is to the point of wanting to commit suicide with all the problems, put then all of a sudden comes along an Ebedie and we will call you an Edebie because you come along and you help others and they help you to get out of being stuck in the muck. That is a beautiful image because all of us have depressions and problems.
I can remember in my vocational journey over sixty years ago I shared with the church family gathered on the recent holy day that the Blessed Mother was a great person to intercede for me with the Lord. I can remember trying to do all the studies and worrying about grades, but not really worrying because I put it in the Lord’s hands and prayed for the grace that if they didn’t kick me out, I guessed I was good enough to go. I would go down to the grotto on prayer days and ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for me. I would say, “Blessed Mother, I’m trying my best and that is all I can do. If it’s not good enough, I know they will tell me and say, ‘Good-bye, Bobby!’ But they never said, ‘Good-bye, Bobby’ and here I am over sixty years later thanking the Blessed Mother for her intercession and that was on her feast day of the Assumption. Each of us had our own image of the Blessed Mother and witnessed how she had helped us through different situations when we were stuck in the muck.
So, Church Family, even when you are stuck in the muck there’s bound to be some Ebedie, standing for Ebed-melch who is going to help us in our struggles. In the book of Hebrews, it says that we have it made even though there are struggles and problems, we persevere and we even prosper after a time by having our eyes fixed on Jesus, a cloud of witnesses, all our ancestors and all the saints cheering us on to get through the troubles of life so that we can celebrate this union with God.
Even though we can have the image that Jesus comes to really light a fire and we hope that it is blazing right now. I want to take that image as being the fire of my baptism which I have to constantly call upon to get me out of the depressions, the muck and so you, too. I am so glad there are so many Ebedie’s that help me do that. So, church, it’s okay to be stuck in the muck because that’s life, but there is such a powerful message.
To conclude, Psalm 40 tells us that “the Lord has come to our aid” and even though a lot of times we, “have waited, waited for the Lord and he stooped towards me and the Lord heard my cry and he drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp. He set my feet upon a crag and made firm my steps. He put a new song into my mouth and many shall look on in awe.” I look in awe as I trust in the Lord with the help of the Blessed Mother as my intercessor. Although I am afflicted and poor, and sometimes that is the way we are. Yet the Lord thinks of me. We say, “O Lord, you are my help and my deliverer so My God hold not back. So church, enjoy having Ebedies in your life and being Ebedies to others as you are stuck in the muck and know that many others are also stuck in the muck.
Love, Father Bob
FR. Bob, the forth of our seven children is named Jeremiah. On the occasion of his baptism 41 years ago our pastor, Fr.Ted Temple came to visit and sang “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”(1978 hit song on the pop charts….remember?
I will share your “stuck in the muck” reflection with him and Angie during dinner this evening. Love, Jerome