One of the joys in which each parent delights is the discovery of the different talents and gifts of his or her
child. The discovery of learning a new word, growing another inch, and getting a new tooth are all celebrated with
loving pride and admiration by doting parents—and rightly so! When I visit the homes of young parents in the Parish, I always enjoy the conversation which, for the first moments, always is about their beautiful and remarkable new baby.
I suspect that God looks on us with a similar joy. The One who created us and gave us all we have and are, delights in each of us. The talents and gifts, our bodies and aptitudes, all are gifts from God. And we are created in the image and likeness of this very God, too.
There is not one person reading this article, including the one who wrote it, who has not received an abundance of gifts too numerous to list and imagine. It is so easy to think that all we have is ours or that we have enabled it to come about on our own. But if we stop and really take some time to reflect, we will realize that nothing we are or possess would have come about without the grace of God. How well have we used all that we have received? Have we taken the time to acknowledge the One who has given to us all that we have?
Time, after our health and our faith, is, perhaps, the most precious commodity we have. How do we use the limited amount of time that has been measured out by God for each of us? Do we take time for granted? Do we waste time or behave as if we have all the time in the world to get to what we know is most essential in life? How can our days be transformed into time well spent?
It seems to me the only way to do this is through daily prayer. Daily, each of us could do well to offer the day ahead to the God who gave it to us. This used to be called a “morning offering”—a simple and a good prayer. Surely, if this is our prayer and our sincere intention—to use every moment of the day ahead in service to the God who has given it to us—the day will be well spent. And such a day will delight the One who has given us all out of love.
A Sample Morning Prayer
All that we do without offering it to God is wasted.”
– St. John Vianney
Faithful and loving God, thank you for keeping me safe through the night
and for giving me the gift of this new day.
Today, may each thought, word, and deed of mine be a reflection of your divine life within me. Amen.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 14-15, 2021
In today’s Gospel we hear Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, bestow the gift of two blessings on
Mary when she greets her. Elizabeth blesses Mary not only because she believes that
Mary is the mother of the Lord, but also because she recognizes that Mary has complete
faith in God’s promise. When Elizabeth prophetically pronounces Mary “blessed …
among women” and proclaims that the fruit of Mary’s womb is blessed, she uses the
same term that Jesus uses to bless people in the Beatitudes.
Good stewards recognize the Spirit-driven love and courage that inspired Elizabeth’s hospitality toward a young,
unmarried, pregnant woman and the honor Elizabeth bestowed upon Mary who would ordinarily be shamed for bearing this child.
In what ways can we extend the blessings we receive in the Eucharistic celebration to others in order to honor them and offer them God’s hospitality?