Archive for January, 2015

This is your family …

At mass last night a young family took up the gifts before communion … a beaming mother and father and three children.

For a moment I thought, “I wish those were my kids and grandchildren, part of my family.”

And immediately I heard … “This IS your family.”

I looked around the church. I don’t know many names and Mark & I don’t go to the social functions. But I know so many of the faces; we sit next to them at mass or greet them at the door or pray for them silently when they seem to be struggling. I often weep as I watch people returning from communion, each one unique and beautiful in his or her own way – young, old, healthy & robust, stooped & fragile; all races and sizes … the body of Christ.

THIS is your family.

Love your family by blood; enjoy them and be blessed when you are together.
But THIS is where you are, now.
These are the people close to you, now.
This is your family.
Love them, too.

Yes, LORD. Speak more … your servant is listening.

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In the first chapter of the book of Job, we read that Job’s children would hold feasts and invite their friends. Afterwards, Job would offer sacrifices for his children in case they had sinned, and he did this habitually.

That really struck me one day and I thought about how great it would be if I could offer sacrifices today for my children’s actions, for the forgiveness of their sins. And I thought about sacrifices … what would be considered a good sacrifice today?

THE perfect sacrifice has already been made … Jesus Christ gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins.

And the words of the chaplet of Divine Mercy leapt to mind … “I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and for those of all the world.”

Praying the chaplet of Divine Mercy quickly became one of my favorite prayers – I pray it several times a week inserting names on each bead: “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on Tom and on the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on Julie and on the whole world … ”

And I ponder this reciprocating process … Jesus gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, and I offer His sacrifice to our Father.

We love God because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

God provides material goods for us … we tithe back 10% to Him.

Long ago I realized “I” couldn’t do anything for anyone else … the best thing I can do for my loved ones, whom God gave into my care, is to give them back and entrust them into His care.

God’s design is so beautiful; I love the way it draws us deeper into relationship with Him, receiving and giving in a reciprocating cycle of tenderness and love.

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