Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beckoned or drawn?

The angel bugging Elijah under the broom tree
 In his homily this morning Fr. Larry said that the beloved hymn, I Am the Bread of Life, has misled a generation of Catholics, beginning when the word "beckon" replaced "draw" in the line, "Unless the Father draw him," this in order to protect the tender sensibilities of that part of the populace that has a hissy fit at the notion of using a pronoun to stand in for all of, pardon me, humankind.

If we are drawn to something, it exerts a hold on us, often one we can't explain.  There is a sense of being reeled in, pulled inexorably toward the object of our fascination. 

If we're beckoned, we're free to go or not. 

But if the Father draws us, at some point we will have to say yes, I accept, or no, I reject.  And let's face it, the Father doesn't make things easy for us.  Most of the time the thing he's asking us to accept is, well, pretty unacceptable.  We're about as enthusiastic over the notion that he knows what's best for us as our kids are about the notion we know what's best for them.

Poor Elijah sat under the broomtree ready to close his eyes and die, discouraged and betrayed.  But would God leave him alone?  Heck no, he kept nudging him with an angel and leaving bread and water and poking him to get going again.

When our baby Kelly was born with Down syndrome, Jerry prayed his first prayer in 25 years, and it was not one of gratitude or acceptance.  But within the same hour he also said our assembled daughters, "Now we find out who we are as a family." 

God had begun to reel him in.

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