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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Am Still Here

A Reflection by Sharon Nelsen on Mark 5:21-43

This past Sunday, I attended services with a Boys Town student at the Protestant Chambers Chapel at Boys Town.  I arrived early and was able to stand outside and watch the family home vans drive up, park, and pour forth stunning groups of boys or girls.  Each young man was dressed in slacks, a colorful dress shirt and tie; the young women came in flowing dresses of all styles.  Like colorful streams of life, they proceeded to enter Chambers Chapel.

As I entered with my young student, we were handed a worship leaflet that contained all the songs and readings for the service, as well as the sequence, and, a place for making notes of our own responses and inspirations.

We began with praise, the singing led by a wonderful, spirit-filled Boys Town family teacher.  Selected students proclaimed the readings—the same three scriptures being read at the same time on campus at Dowd Catholic Chapel.  I was struck with the theme of Pastor Michael’s sermon—“Jesus is always available.”  He took that ministry of Jesus and broke it open for us in the stories of the hemorrhaging woman and the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death.  I had come to services that day very concerned about my friend in hospice and a few other situations of apparent hopelessness.  Pastor Michael’s faith stirred up faith within me.

The next day as I was reflecting on my flawed faith in relation to Jesus’ availability in all situations  in my life, I became aware of the spirit of negativity that has plagued me and my family for generations.  I asked the Lord to set us free from that spirit and to fill us with His Hope and Joy in knowing that in Him, everything is all right because He has the power in all situations and if we but ask, we receive.

I realized that sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, thinking of ourselves as “wrong” or “not right,” when actually we are just flawed.  A grapefruit’s skin can be flawed with a brown spot and still be a tasty, delicious grapefruit; a tree can grow unevenly and still produce good shade, a home for birds, fruit and beauty; a family can have flawed members and still be a good family.  All of us are flawed by sin and yet we are good, wonderfully made in the image of God, “fearfully, wonderfully made” as the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 139.  I could feel my mustard seed of faith growing; Jesus is available for every situation I am willing to bring to Him.

As I reflected further on Jesus’ availability to us, I heard the Lord explain:

Even if there is contamination,

I am still here.

Even if there are flaws,

I am still here.

Even if there are missing parts,

I am still here.

Even if there are missing resources,

I am still here.

Even if there is abusive power,

I am still here.

Even if there is terminal illness,

I am still here.

Even if there is ignorance,

I am still here.

Even if lies seem to prevail,

I am still here.

Even if bitterness takes hold,

I am still here.

Even if all seems bleak,

I am still here.

“Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?” (Genesis 18.14)

I am

I am here,

With you now and forever!


This morning I am more grateful for the faith and vision of Father Flanagan who adhered to the truth, “Every boy must pray, how he prays is up to him.”   I personally experienced the fruit of his work in the preaching of Pastor Michael.  My faith increases as I reflect and remember that Jesus is always available for us, for He loves us with an everlasting love, and love means being available to another.  Availability is the hallmark of all staff at Boys Town.  

It seems fitting to conclude with a quote from St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860) who mentored St. John Bosco, who inspired Father Flanagan in his mission to homeless, neglected boys, “We are born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more.”  Love is always available.  “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1Cor. 13.13)