Father Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, known for his outstanding work rehabilitating gang members in one of the poorest, most violent neighborhoods in Los Angeles, was saying Mass in prison. The inmates did the readings, so he relaxed to listen. To his astonishment, the prisoner read, “God is exhausted.” “What the H…?” thought Boyle, grabbing the readings. Ah… the original said, “God is exalted.” But what a felix culpa, “happy fault”!
We can connect far better with a God who is exhausted as we are. This is, after all, the God who in Christ “pitched a tent among us.” Most tents rest on the ground, not floating 3 feet above it, and it takes some work to keep them standing. Who feels close to God’s exhaustion and praises this God properly? The litany is endless, but for brief starters:
…the nurse who’s worked an extra shift to cover for a friend who has the flu
…the mom who’s been up since 5, worked 8 hours, commuted 2, and pulls herself out of a stupor to attend the PTA meeting so the second grade can win the attendance award
…the three-year old constantly struggling to keep up with his older siblings
…the family undergoing a long wait in the ICU with their loved one, sleeping in shifts
…the worker who confronts a mountain on the desk wildly disproportionate to what anyone could accomplish in a day, but plunges in anyway with enormous effort
…the caretaker for her father-in-law, a dementia patient, who’s also undergoing home renovation: constant jackhammers and loud radios
…the citizens who have tried since Columbine 20 years ago to enact sane gun control laws
…Bryan Stevenson, whose story is told in the book and film Just Mercy. Harvard educated, African-American attorney, he fought an arduous 30-year battle against excessive and unfair sentencing, freeing innocent death row prisoners. His Supreme Court victories include a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners with dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-imprisonment-without-parole sentences for children 17 or younger
…the refugee who has carried her special needs child 1000 miles, wearing flip flops, and finally reaches safety at the border.
They’re all tired. But their valiant efforts praise a God who just might be exhausted too.
Retreat led by Kathy Coffey: “Those Feisty Gospel Women”
San Damiano Center, 710 Highland Dr., Danville, CA (925)-837-9141
www.sandamiano.org March 27-29, 2020