It is difficult for us to appreciate what we have until we don’t have it and then, after suffering through deprivation and being restored to normalcy, we once again forget what we lacked because we now lack it no more. Let me explain by way of example.
Eight years ago we were experiencing a deep economic recession, some even called it a depression. Unemployment was high and many people lost their homes in foreclosure. Many families, for the first time in their lives, had to seek help, food and shelter from charitable organizations and the governments’ welfare system. That recession is past for most and nearly forgotten in today’s current booming economy. Unemployment is at an all-time low. The stock market sets new records almost daily and many people talk as if there is no limit in sight. The difficulties of the economic recession we experienced eight years ago are nearly forgotten and not expected to return in the foreseeable future. History, though, has shown us that the pendulum never stops swinging. Our state of affairs is never constant. What is manufactured by human hands and ingenuity is always subject to change.
In his farewell address to the Israelites, just before they are to enter the promised land, Moses assures the people that God IS constant, He does not change and He will not leave them alone after Moses is no longer with them.
They had reason to be concerned. For 40 years, the Lord had been their constant companion through the ministry of Moses. He was their intermediary before Yahweh. They, like us, were unable to see God, but they knew and trusted His presence in the person of Moses. Now, he was dying. He would not be leading them into the promised land. They felt alone and wondered if God, too, would now abandon them. Moses assures the people of God’s constancy; He will raise up other prophets like Moses. Through them He will remain present to them and one Prophet in particular will fulfill all promises.
Today, Jesus is present in the Eucharist, in the person of the Priest, in the Seven Sacraments and in our community of believers. His presence, though, can be so affable that we easily take it for granted. We need to enter into the mindset of those first witnesses of Jesus’ authority so that we, too, can be awed by His holy presence among us.