It's Tempting To Just Run Away

A man was walking down the street when he passed a house and saw a child on the porch, stretching to reach the doorbell. No matter how hard the little fellow tried, he couldn't reach that bell. So the man called out, ‘Hey, there, let me give you a hand.’ The man came up on the porch and rang the bell.

‘Thanks, mister,’ said the child, with a huge smile. ‘Now, let's run!’

Running away is a temptation that comes to us all. Sometimes, just for a moment, even the bravest of us would like to run away as hard and fast as we can because life seems just too much: needs of others, work, family issues, friends, exams, contracts, TV, and ourselves. Some days all of them or any one of them can make us want to run far and fast and let someone else clean up the mess. ‘Forget love and duty. I don't care what happens, just get me out of here!’

We've all thought it or said it, and sometimes we've done it. The temptation to run is real, and because it is real, it gives birth to a powerful kind of fear, the fear of being abandoned and left all alone.

We know only too well our own temptation to run, so it's only a short hop to the other side of the equation. What if everybody gets fed up with me, and runs away and leaves me all alone? What if God finally gets fed up with me, and leaves me all alone forever and ever? What if...?

The Eucharist is the Lord's answer to that terrifying ‘what if.’ In giving us His own body and blood to be eaten as often as we need it, Jesus is saying, ‘I'll always be here for you, and I'll never run away. Whenever you come to me, I'll nourish your spirit. I'll make you strong when you're weak. I'll be medicine for your heart, and I'll heal you on the inside when you've been wounded there.’

That's the promise Jesus made when He first gave us His body and blood, and it's the promise He renews every time we celebrate the Eucharist.

And what does He ask in return? Only that we not run away, not run away from our commitments or our challenges, not run away from ourselves or our need to change, and most especially, that we not run away from those who need us and those whom we serve.

At the moment of communion, as we raise up the host and proclaim ‘The Body of Christ,’ the Lord whispers to our hearts: ‘I'll always be here and always be enough for you. So promise me you'll never run away.’

And our hearts answer, ‘Amen. Yes, Lord. I know You are here; and You will always be enough for me. I promise I'll never run away. Amen, Lord. Amen.’

Gracious Lord, give us the strength to stand and the strength to lift others through Your love. There is no weight too heavy when Your hands guide us. Amen

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