Tom…and Scripture

Let me tell you about Tom. As an older, retired man, he was always at the church. For Religious Ed in the evenings, he was there, helping make photocopies. No matter was Sunday Mass you attended, he was there as an usher. One advent my mom and I went to check out the Filipino Misa de Gallo Mass at 4 in the morning, and even though he isn’t Filipino, there he was singing in the choir!

Years ago my parents started a prayer meeting on Friday nights at their church, and Tom started to attend. I had given a talk one night about how Jesus fulfills the scriptures, and afterward Tom wanted to share about his experience with Scripture. He told us there was about a month or more when every Sunday’s readings directly applied to what was going on in his life. After several straight weeks of this, the following Sunday’s gospel was about Peter walking on water. “Surely, Lord, this one can’t relate to me!” Tom thought.  But then, after Mass, he was helping lock up when someone came up to him and said the ladies’ bathroom was flooded and he needed to clean it up. He then realized that the walking on water Gospel did apply to him after all!

Last weekend Tom cracked one of his front teeth. His dentist was on vacation and he didn’t have money for an emergency clinic. He wasn’t going to come to the prayer meeting, but decided to anyway. They reflected on this past Sunday’s Gospel where Jesus was instructing his disciples, and during intercessions my mom prayed for a fix for Tom’s tooth so he could “eat what was set in front of him” (a reference to the Gospel).  The next day, at the Saturday anticipatory Mass, Tom came up to my parents and smiled a big smile with his tooth all fixed! Apparently a woman came to the prayer meeting for her first time the night before and she happened to be a dentist. So the next morning she took Tom in to her office to get his tooth fixed.

This inspired me to read the readings every day this week and pay attention to how they applied to my life. While I had no crazy experiences like Tom, I was struck by Thursday’s reading about Joseph. Sold into slavery by his brothers, went up the ranks in Egypt, and ultimately used by God to help save people from famine and much more.  The end of the reading said, “It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Hopefully your siblings never sold you into slavery, but things often happen that we don’t like or don’t understand. It could take years or until heaven to see God’s plan, but the fact of the matter is He has a plan. So Jesus I trust in you!  I hope we all can see God’s Word working in our lives like Tom!

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