“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
Sitting at Mass today, looking around at those who were sitting in the pews surrounding me, I was swept over by a warm feeling, a peaceful feeling like I hadn't known for a long time.
I realized that all of the other people present at Mass are beloved by God, just as much as His own Son is beloved by Him, and I offered a prayer of Thanksgiving for these beautiful people whose only desire is to draw closer to His loving heart and to carry a bit of that love in their own hearts throughout the coming week.
I thank you, God, for:
~the man who was sitting in front of me with his three children, the man who has given so much of himself to teach Christian formation to the children of our parish for so many years, as he bowed his head into his hands and wept while we listened to a recording from Archbishop Listecki explaining how the recent announcement that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be a sign of hope for us all.
~for our Deaf community, and our deaf Deacon, gathered week after week in the front rows of church where they can easily see the interpreter, joyfully signing the Mass responses.
~for the little girl with down's syndrome who smiles and hugs everyone around her, easily drawing us all into her joy.
~for the girls on my daughter's basketball team, many of whom were present at Mass today with their families.
~for my long-time friend who was the lector at Mass.
~for the young boy prodigy, not more than ten years old, who is learning to become an organist at Mass, and who plays with so much talent!
~for the entire community present at this Mass, who filled the church as if it were Christmas Day, many of them friends, more of them strangers to me, but all of them beautiful.
~for Fr. Dave, who took this occasion of the Baptism of Our Lord, to remind those who are seeking the Sacrament for their children, of the lifelong responsibility that Baptism requires of parents.
~for my son, John, who had attended Mass on his own the evening before because he is working on weekends, and for my son, Jack, who stayed home from Mass because he is sick with the flu. Both of my sons suffered in missing this Mass, Jack, simply because he was ill, and would much rather have been at Mass, and John, because he so enjoys lectoring, cantoring and singing with the choir at Mass and now, because of his job, those opportunities of service are much more limited.
~for my loving and wonderful husband, who is always by my side at Mass, worshiping the Lord with my children and I, setting the example of how a beloved child of God is to return to our Father all of our gifts at the weekly hour of worship.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing us all with peace. Amen.