In this Sunday's readings we hear God speak these comforting words, "I will never forget you." No matter where we are or what happens God does not forget us. No matter our background, personality, struggles or weakness God does not forget us.
There is not a single moment when God is not present. He loves us day in and day out. The human mind can never fully grasp the omnipresence of God.
St. Paul reminds us that, "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17.28). There is no life, no existence apart from God.
God not only sees the big picture of our lives, God is the big picture of our lives. We may not understand everything we experience, but we need to put it all in perspective.
Human beings are completely dependent on God. Our entire being is rooted in the good pleasure and love of God. We cannot draw a single breath apart from the love and mercy of God. He is the spark of life that causes our heart to beat and our blood to flow.
The illusion that sin creates is that we are independent from God - that somehow we are self-existing, independent beings who can choose our own way.
This is the Great Lie. Does a baby need its mother? Can a baby survive without someone to love and care for its needs?
Can you imagine a baby saying, "I call the shots around here. I don't need my parents or anyone else. I choose my own destiny."
This would be foolish and totally ridiculous. But that is exactly what happens when human beings forget that their very being comes from God. We only need to look at a newspaper or turn on a TV to see the catastrophic results. The idea of independence from God is the source of the calamity we see unfolding all around us.
The good news is that despite our forgetfulness, God does not forget. Jesus came to reveal the true destiny of every human being. His entire being proclaims the truth of our existence. His death on the cross shouts to every human being, "I will never forget you. Can a mother forget her baby, or a woman the child of her womb? Yet even if she forgets, I will never forget you" (Isaiah 49.15).
Jesus is thinking about you and I right now. He is not distant and uncaring but intimately involved with our lives. This is why he says to us in this week's Gospel, "Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life."
Worry strangles our spiritual life. It is a sign that we are not trusting God in some area of our existence.
Last night at prayer my family and I spent some extended time thanking God. I noticed that the longer we thanked him, the more the spiritual atmosphere lightened and our tensions seemed to melt away.
How easily we forget to be grateful.
Thanksgiving is a way of remembering - remembering that we are not forgotten. Remembering that God is present here and now. Remembering that we are the beloved children of God.
The meaning of the word "Eucharist" is thanksgiving. Try to live a Eucharistic life, a life of deep thanksgiving for the wonderful fact that we are alive.
Jesus is with us here and now. He is the Living Bread of our existence. He reveals the Father's tender care for us all. Listen deeply and let the living word speak anew in our lives, "I will never forget you."
Lord, thank you for our life. Thank you that you are with us in every situation and circumstance.
May we never forget you with every breath we take. Amen.