Becoming Holy

OUR Bankrobbers!

on May 22, 2014

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Who would believe it?  Our bank in Small Town Idaho was robbed!  In broad daylight!  Friday afternoon’s criminal activity provided opportunity for both discussion and speculation.  But, alas, the case wrapped up Sunday evening when the pair was caught sixty miles away in Lewiston.  The male robber, pictured above, was wearing a short that tells the true story, “It’s all fun & games until the cops show up.”  The irony of the t-shirt’s message actually caught the attention of the New York Daily news. In my mind, the event was over and would become, perhaps, the subject for passing commentary and a chuckle.  That was, until Tuesday morning Mass, when our hospital chaplain prayed the following beautiful prayer.  “For OUR bank robbers and for all who struggle, we pray to the Lord.”  As we responded, “Lord, hear our prayer,” I was taken aback.  These two nameless souls were suddenly OUR bank robbers.  They belong to the town of Cottonwood.  For some reason unknown to us, they had chosen our little town.  Now because of that choice, we had a stake in their lives and their souls.  Fr. Meinrad’s beautifully chosen words had announced to my heart and those around me that this pair need our prayers.  They need to be more than “the bank robbers”~they need to be real people. I immediately realized I hadn’t even taken time to listen for their names.  A quick google search to discover OUR bank robbers are Rocky and Jennifer from southern Idaho.  Rocky and Jennifer, our brother and sister in Christ.  Fr. Meinrad’s prayerhad transformed the robbers into real people~GASP!  They suddenly became someone’s son, someone’s daughter, part of our larger family~part of the body of Christ.  They are also part of the group Fr. Meinrad identified as “those who struggle.”  What would happen if each of us would pause and offer up a prayer for Rocky and Jennifer rather than just talking about them?  What kind of transformation will occur? Heavenly Father, I lift Rocky and Jennifer to you.  Thank you for the gift of their lives.  Thank you for blessing our small town with the opportunity to recognize the strugglers in our midst.  Thank you for the gift of Fr. Meinrad and for his vision of Rocky and Jennifer as belonging to “us.”  Bless them in their brokenness.  Forgive them their trespasses.  Heal them of past wounds.  Help them to begin anew. Help us always to remember to pray for them and for all who need our prayers.  Amen.

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