Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
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Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
Asking and Giving. Pray for those who do not pray. Sacrifice for those who do not know how to make a sacrifice, for they all think of themselves as being kind. We are, until someone is not kind to us. And then? What happens next? We all pride ourselves in being “tolerant”. We are, to a certain degree, until someone steps on our toes.
Yesterday I was traveling from Chicago to Dallas and so I couldn’t write my meditation (I don’t have a laptop). At around 9:30 pm I finally arrived in Dallas. It had been a very long day. I had scheduled my flight from Chicago so that I could be back in town in the early afternoon. When I arrived at the airport, my flight was on time. Everything seemed great. I sat down at my gate like a good little boy and waited. It was an enjoyable morning. I got into a few fruitful conversations with some passengers. But when we noticed that our flight was delayed, we all began to worry. I for one needed to get back to Dallas as quickly as possible. I went up to the United Airline counter and asked them if the flight would be cancelled. That was my biggest fear. They told me that the flight was delayed due to mechanical issues, and that everything should work out just fine for me. As the hour approached for our departure, the representatives announced once again that our flight would be delayed for another hour. At this moment, some of the passengers I had spoken to began to show a bit of irritation.
Well, it happened three more times; that is, three more times our flight was delayed. Now I began to worry, but I didn’t lose my cool. Instead, I went to the customer service booth to see if I could get my flight changed from United Airlines to American Airlines. After waiting in line for about an hour, I was told that they couldn’t do that unless they cancelled the flight. And I was assured that they would not cancel the flight.
As soon as I arrived back at the gate I saw all these passengers get up and leave, almost all of them now running. I managed to ask one person what happened and they told me that the flight had been cancelled. All these people were now heading to where I had just been. Now, I would be at the back of the line.
By this time a few passengers were cursing. Of course I couldn’t curse. I was in my collar. They say that the habit doesn’t make the monk. It doesn’t. But it sure forces him to act like a monk around unpleasant people (passengers) and inconsiderate employees (United Airlines staff). So instead of following the crowd, I picked up the phone and dialed the United Airlines hotline.
I spoke to someone who probably resided in India. After explaining my situation, they told me that I had automatically been booked on the next available flight. I was so relieved…until he told me that I would be leaving Saturday afternoon.
After waiting on the line for around 2 hours, they managed to get me on the next flight available flight…with American Airlines. I would be leaving at 5:30 pm.
By the time I had arrived to the American Airlines terminal (Terminal 3, concourse H), and gate (H16), the gate and time had changed.
Finally, after waiting in the airport for nearly eight hours (equivalent to a flight to Spain), I was finally walking to my seat on the plane. As soon as I arrived a passenger, sitting in the middle seat, got up and asked if I would be willing to move to a different seat. I looked at him and wanted to say what I felt like saying but of course I didn’t; again, I was in my collar. He explained to me that his wife was seated a few rows behind him and that he would like to travel with her. I said to him, “Of course, whatever you need.” He was extremely grateful. He explained to me he had asked someone else and they had said no. I too wanted to say no, especially when I learned that I had given up my aisle seat for a middle seat.
When we had finally left the ground and reached our cruising speed and maximum altitude, an airline attendant came up to me and asked me if I wanted something to drink. I asked her for some water. She gave me a one liter bottle. Surprised, I looked at her and thought it was a joke. She then asked me if I wanted a snack. “No, thank you.” She insisted and said that she would pay for it. Well, at that moment, I asked her why she was being so kind. She said, “For all you do for others…including me.”
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
Ask for patience. Ask for humility. Ask for an increase in faith, hope and love. Far too often we ask God for things that will make us happy. Not often enough do we ask for things that will make other people happy. If we did, our joy may take us completely by surprise.
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