6 Jun 2015
People of all sorts and shapes come into our lives. And we can be tempted to idolize the people who inspire us, the people we enjoy knowing. But the archangel Raphael says, “No, praise God. Thank God for the gift of those people who inspire us.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong—and, indeed, it’s very good—to thank people. But we mustn’t forget to thank God and realize it is, ultimately, God at work.
But God is always present to us in some or another. God doesn’t “come and go” in our lives. And so, ultimately, all the good we encounter in others is meant to draw us to God and to give him thanks.
While our main vocation in life is to love God, our other vocation as Catholics is to help others connect and reconnect with God. That’s what the priestly vocation is all about. It isn’t about me. It’s about pointing others to God. That’s what evangelization is all about. It’s about bringing others to know God and believe in him, not us. And, of course, we evangelize every time we are an instrument of God—whether it’s with a kind word, or some encouragement, or something else that brings God’s mercy into their lives through us.
The archangel Raphael talks about almsgiving, the idea of giving from our “wealth.” But the most precious, valuable “thing” we have is our own relationship with God and our own experiences of knowing God—God who is goodness, truth, beauty. That’s the wealth we want to share. And that’s the wealth we want others to share in as well.
We try to give ourselves over to God, to God’s will and the ways of God—just like Tobiah and Sarah, just like the widow putting her two coins in the treasury. We try as best we can to say to God, “I am yours.” And in return God says, “I am yours.” And from that rich relationship, we give to others.
And all those people in our lives who inspire us . . . well, they have their own relationships with God, the God of life and love, the God of all goodness. When we encounter them, we give thanks to God for his presence in them. And, hopefully, when they encounter us, they give thanks to God for his presence in us.
Behind all that inspiration we receive from others is God. And to that we say: “Blessed be God, who lives forever.” Blessed be God.