“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
A number of years ago I was home for several weeks recovering from surgery. I took the opportunity to work on a family project I had wanted to do for a very long time. I selected the best photographs from 65 albums of family pictures taken over the years and digitized them onto one three hour DVD with background music. I called it, The Ferrauiola Family Video Special.
The DVD begins with photos of my wife Wanda’s and my parents and grandparents and scenes from our childhood. It goes on through our teens, our high school romance, the early years of our marriage, the arrival of each of our four children and our two grandsons, and many special moments from our life together over the past fifty years.
Sitting with Wanda in our family room and watching the DVD is a real joy for me. Seeing our marriage and our children weave and grow together across the years fills me with thanksgiving for my life.
But along with the joyful times there have been difficult days: the challenges of raising four children, of work, of illness. I know that if I could drill down and see scenes that didn’t make it to the camera, I would see moments of anxiety and doubt.
But sitting in our family room with my arm around Wanda, smiling and laughing as we watch 50 years of life and love roll across the TV screen, it’s clear to me that God’s grace and love has always been with us.
Now think about your own life and the life of every person who has ever lived and will live in the future and of all the DVDs that could be made from all those individual stories. What if they were made and someone edited them together into one big video called The Story of the Human Family? And what if someday, after we’ve died and been reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us, God gets us all together into that big family room in heaven to watch The Story of the Human Family?
As we watch the story unfold, we would see moments of goodness, kindness and love. Sadly, we would also see moments of anger, pain and sorrow. But sitting with our loved ones in the presence of God, beyond the boundaries of time and space and the limits of human understanding, we would know that God’s grace had carried us through.
But we’re not there yet; and that’s where faith comes in. You see we’re here in 2018 and we’re still making the DVDs. We may be in the middle of a happy time or a painful time; we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and we certainly don’t know how the story will end.
But we are here at Mass today because we have faith. We trust that no matter what difficulties or tragedies befall us as individuals, as a family, a church, or a nation, they are only isolated moments in time.
We trust that in the end – either in this life or the next – God’s grace will pull us through, heal us and fix whatever is broken in our life.
Some day we will all gather together in God’s eternal family room with our loved ones, the ones here now and the ones who have gone home before us. And we will watch a wonderful story, the story of our journey home.
And we will taste, and we will see the goodness of the Lord.
And we will know that we were never, ever alone; that God was always walking beside us, holding our hand.
Readers of this blog might enjoy these books by Deacon Lex. Both are available on Amazon.com:
Just to Follow My Friend: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life
The Gospel of You, The Gospel of Me: Making Christ Present in Everyday Life
Synchronicity as the Work of the Holy Spirit: Jungian Insights for Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Ministry