I was at Mass on New Year’s Day and the priest’s homily message was pretty simple, largely about finding God in the ordinary.
I shrugged. I thought I was beyond the reach of that message. I thought to myself, “Yeah, Father, I know that. That’s an easy message.”
Or is it?
Well that particular day, I was a bit down and feeling far from God’s loving presence. I felt empty and in need of love.
Two people, one before Mass and one during Mass after communion, kindly approached me, put their hands on my shoulder and said kind, gentle, and simple welcoming words. One of them was a complete stranger whom I never met, but I think she was a religious sister.
After Mass, it occurred to me that I had been touched by God’s loving, merciful presence through these people and that I felt a little healed and back to peace. I didn’t see it right away, but His love was there, in the ordinariness of the day, in the people I encountered. They'll never know how much those small gestures made a difference to me that day.
That’s how God works. Always present and reaching us daily in small ways we sometimes don't see until later, and we need to be reminded of that so we don’t forget that His presence is everywhere with us.
So this new year, go find God in your neighbor and your ordinary day, and don’t forget to be God’s presence to others too.