Becoming the Hands of Jesus

Ever since the horrble earthquake in Haiti I have been in conflict. How can something so terrible happen to the least of the world’s people? What possible good can come from such an awful experience? For the first week I was a news junkie – riveted to the news about Haiti.

The Gospel readings at Mass all last week brought us in touch with the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry of healing, feeding and other miracles. It was ironic to read the Gospels with the Haiti tragedy in the background. In addition, on every tv screen was the cell phone directions to donate funds..along with multiple stories of generous donors. There was also the utter confusion of reaching Haitian people with meds and food. It was heart wrenching to watch the live news.

It is a situation demanding the miracles of Jesus and we are impelled to believe they are happening. One might be finding an old woman alive after 7 days or a young girl after 10 days. Another might be saving a life despite limited medication. Another might be quick repair of roads to finally allow medical supplies to move. Another might be the tent hospitals that finally arise. Miracles are happening, hope exists and people are surviving. They might seem small but in Haiti, small is big.

Sunday’s reading from St. Paul provided a powerful image of the church as a body with people as different parts, but ONE in Christ. It struck me that the biggest miracle these past 12 days is the miracle of people becoming the hands, feet, love and healing of Jesus. Consider all the nations, with their many different people and skills hurrying to Haiti without question. They were there almost immediately. They will continue to work daily miracles.

It might seem impossible to find a good in this tragedy. It took the disciples a while to find the meaning of Jesus’ teachings or to trust the resurrection experience. However, along the way they saw the miracles and heard the teachings. We must persevere in helping Haiti – with prayer, goods and skill – as well as the other seemingly impossible situations and have faith of the disciples. They stuck to their ministry and risked their lives –  even with their questions. Eventually, there was a greater meaning that profoundly changed their lives with deeper faith.

Have faith, believe in miracles, know there is Resurrection. Try to become the hands of Jesus, a part of his church and one, together with all, in Christ.

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