Learning from Raul – Good News for July 20

20 07 2010

Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The Daily Path: The past week has been a difficult one. As shared previously, a good friend died recently in a tragic car accident. The past few days have been focused on his memorials, Rosary and Mass. Over the next couple of days I’d like to share what I consider to be the profound lessons learned during this period.

Lesson One: While Christ asks us to live his teaching in all we do, it’s often in the small, simplest of ways that we can best accomplish this.

As we listened to many of Raul’s friends and family talk about his legacy, it became evident to all that Raul lived to make the lives of those around him better. That was his calling. That was how he lived Jesus’ example. While Raul did make some BIG efforts to live as Jesus taught, things like mentoring troubled youth thru Big Brothers Big Sisters, it was the seemingly small but consistent actions of genuine concern for others that spoke loudest of all.

His family described him as the glue that held them all together. He was the calm mediator for family, friends, and strangers alike. In thinking back on our countless adventures together, I can clearly see how he looked at situations and his automatic internal response was not “What’s in it for me?” but rather “How can I make this better for all involved?” And that was the course of action he took, again and again,

It was the little things.

He never went “ballistic” in responding to transgressions against his person, image or property. He calmly dealt with the matter. Raul was no patsy, but his machismo was not in threats or aggression… it was in peace. I was reminded of another one of Raul’s favorite expressions… “Perhaps.” He would sometimes use this in response to a foolish suggestion that was offered. It was as if he wanted to allow the source of the suggestion enough time to rethink the folly or error in what was put forth. Raul’s response was never “You idiot. What a stupid idea!

It was the little things.

His three sisters all spoke of how he was so patient with them, even when pushed to the point where most men would implode. Raul saw the bigger picture, understood what they needed in that moment, and patiently complied.

It was the little things.

I could go on and one, but will leave you with this…

As the pastor of All Hallows Catholic Church vigorously reminded all in attendance at Mass yesterday, Raul’s time on earth provided us with countless examples that were a profound call to follow the basic teachings Christ as our friend did. Love one another. Strive to make life better for those around us. Do this in little ways, quietly and consistently.

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