"Where Is Jesus Staying?"
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 17, 2021
The following story is true. Dr. Mark Quale is an emergency room physician in Burlington, North Carolina. Like many health care workers during the covid pandemic, Dr. Quale has been putting in 70 and 80 hour weeks at the hospital. But just as stressful has been the fear that he might bring the virus home to his wife, his kids and his mother-in-law. So when he would come home he would
take off his scrubs on the porch and walk a specific route to a bathroom cordoned off by a tarp where he would shower.
But now things have changed. Now Dr. Quale isolates himself in a 31 foot travel trailer parked in his front yard. The loan of the trailer is the work of a rather new organization called “RV’s for MDs”, a group organized to
to connect health care workers with RVs so they can isolate near their homes. From a critical care nurse in Boston to an ER doctor in Lynchburg, Virginia, “RVs for MDs has matched health care workers with RVs, trailers and campers in their immediate areas. To date, the group has matched over 1500 RVs with doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics around the country.
“RVs for MDs” began in April, when a woman named Emily Phillips posted a request on her Facebook asking if anyone had an RV her family could borrow for Emily’s husband, and ER doctor in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. Another woman Holly Haggard replied offering her family’s RV to the Phillips. Emily and Holly realized they were on to something and he two women created the organization “RVs for MDs”. Within a week of posting their idea on Facebook, hundreds of RV owners signed on.
And that takes us back to Dr. Quale. Dr. Quale and his family in North Carolina were matched with an RV from the Webb family. The two families have never met, but Tim Webb drove his RV for almost three hours to the Quale’s home. The Webbs gave the Keys to the Quales, telling them they could use the trailer as long as they needed it.
Renting the RV could have been a source of income for the Webb’s, but the Webbs felt donating it to the Quales was a “no brainer”.
In Today’s Gospel, the first disciples meet Jesus and ask where he is staying. Jesus answers, “Come and you will see.” Jesus stays in every place where people are welcome and cared for. Jesus stay wherever compassion and forgiveness are readily offered.
We have all been living in terrible times throughout the horrible year of 2020. Today as we begin 2021, we need to prayerfully ask ourselves how we reacted to 2020. Did we sit around and complain and do nothing? Or did we get angry and bitter and make life worse for those around us?
Or, did we admit to ourselves that none of us caused any of this, so we need to gather together and come up with some creative ideas to make our little corner of the world a better place. As the old saying goes, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
Besides, that’s where Jesus will be staying.
1 Samuel 3:3b–10, 19
So [Eli] said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."
1 Corinthians 6:13c–15a, 17–20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you?
[Jesus said,] “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas (which is translated Peter).”