The Gift of Loved Ones

Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?

Matthew 9:15

Thoughts of Christmas during Lent? I recently looked through our most recent photo album with my granddaughters. Pictures from Christmas 2014 eased me back in time…

It was more than a dozen years ago that our family gathered around our Christmas Tree to open gifts. To provide some semblance of order among this gathering of siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, parents, offspring, aunts, uncles and Grandma, the youngest child opened gifts first. The intent was to end with my mother who was the eldest adult among us. We were half way through the process when my mom’s tearful voice interjected, “I’m so happy to have you all together here. This is Christmas for me!” Though my mom had not yet opened a single gift, she had found all that she needed in the people she had been given to love in this life.

When Jesus walked among us, some people complained that he and his followers failed to fast and to follow other rituals set down in The Law. Jesus replied that there would be plenty of time for that later. That particular day, however, Jesus’ disciples walked with him and absorbing all that Jesus had to offer was their current priority. Jesus invites you and me to enjoy his company as well in our work and our worship, in our family lives and in all whom we meet along the way. As we continue our Lenten journeys, we will sometimes have to choose between God’s loved ones and the rules imposed upon us by ourselves and by whoever the powers-may-be at the moment. As Jesus indicates, the choice is clear.

Dear God, please awaken me to your presence in those around me. Help me to see the people I have been given to love with your eyes and help to respond to them with your acceptance and love.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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