“No One Can Take You Out of My Hands”

You’re panicking and you’re anxious So, what do you do? You punch 911 on your phone. Wrong. You’d have either Bell or Parateck at your home with all of their paperwork and machines and they’d be wearing boots as though your home is full of mud. And, their bill will be in the mail.

No. Panicking and anxious? You call God. Simply press three zeros on your phone, and then hear the following message: “All of our angels are currently busy, but your call is very important to us; otherwise, you would not be hearing this silly recorded message. Please be patient and listen to this cheesy jazz instrumental with no title.” A while later, a long while later.

The recorded message continues, “Thanks for waiting, for natural disasters, press 1, or if you’re an older adult dial 1. Press 2 for personal intentions, or just stay on the line for the next available angel to assist you.” That cheesy jazz music with no title continues.

Jesus says, “No one can take [those who believe in me] out of my hands.” If there ever was a more assuring and comforting sentence, I don’t know what it is. It’s a firm, unchanging belief – more than that, it is a divine vow. We all have our periodic wonderings and wanderings, daily doubts prompting more ice cream or an extra cocktail, all of our unanswerable questions, and even our wicked denials.

A divine vow. “No one can take [those who believe in me] out of my hands.” Today don’t consider other people like the “no one,” but only consider yourself. You are the “one” who red flags and harbors daily doubts. The constant of life is those daily doubts and wonderings but always coupled with the embracing love of God. Whatever the troubling topic – politics, religion, family, health; no matter the concern, God frowns and, at the same time, smiles at our quandaries with both arms ready to hold and hug us.

We ask, “Am I good enough?” God says, “Yes. I have created all of you and call you to be Me throughout your life’s journey.” “Can I improve?” God says, “It’s up to you, but my two buddies Jesus and the Holy Spirit can help you thoroughly along the way.” “Do I do good things to enrich the lives of others and enrich myself?” God replies, “Depends on the day,”

What is the distance between conflict and grace? Between our conflicts and God’s grace? The space is absolutely; how shall I say it – zero? There is no separation when the number is zero. It’s the distance we create or that we believe exists. It’s the “us” with our clenched hands, tightly folded arms – closed-in arms and giving-up arms compared to the power and constant loving engagement with our God – both in welcoming and stretching out both arms in both receiving us in our troubles and catching us before we fall.

Heck, if God’s busy in Ukraine. There’s still Jesus who’s bouncing how many bouncing balls in the air with predicaments everywhere. But therein lives, like the wind, she who whisks us up through and with her total attention and affection—the Holy Spirit. I guess you could say that God and Jesus are the huggers. The Holy Spirit gently and lovingly envelopes and strengthens us through every single situation of life. I’m told that she even offers us all seven gifts. Seven gifts for each day of the week. Each gift begins and ends with the gift for her last gift to us – the wonder and honoring of our Creator.

And, on this Mother’s Day weekend, please don’t ever ignore the feminine side of God. Like God’s creation, there’s a bit of both in us. My priest friend cries during cat food commercials.

Like the old Bing Crosby movies as Father O’Malley says, “Just dial ‘O,’” Fr. O’Malley meant to say ‘zero.’ (I couldn’t resist.)

The recorded angel calls you the next day and says, “The Holy Spirit thanks you for your call and asks you to please remain on the line for a quick three-question survey about her service with you. Please remember that pressing ten or dialing ten, if you’re old, means a score of perfectly celestial ‘excellence.’”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Serving as Administrator, St. Catherine of Alexandria, 8661 N. 76 Place, Milwaukee, WI. 53223. www.stcatherinemke.org. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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