Answer With Love

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done to me according to your word.”

From Luke 1:26-38

The phone rang once too many times today. Each caller needed something that seemingly only I could provide. Though I am truly humbled that others depend on me, today I ask to be depended upon a little less. I am tired. Three books lie waiting for me to read them. In November, I had shoulder surgery and my recovery continues to monopolize my life. Ugh! There goes that phone again!

I am grateful that Abby called. Our granddaughters’ sitter is ill, and Grandpa and I are needed to fill in tomorrow. Of course my husband and I will make the hour drive in the morning. Of course we will stay as long as we are needed. Of course, we will enjoy every minute we spend with our granddaughters.

As I look over my calendar and prioritize what needs to be done, I notice that this is the Feast of the Annunciation. Hmmm. Mary responded far more generously to the life-changing request made of her than I have to the small requests made of me. I suddenly realize my good fortune. It is an amazing blessing to “be there” when others need me. Like Mary, we never know where our choices to help will lead us. Next time the phone rings, I will try to answer it with Mary’s selfless love.

Oh, Jesus, your mother Mary has given us the perfect example of living not for ourselves, but for you. I overlooked Mary’s lesson today until I heard Abby’s voice and remembered your mother’s words. Jesus, give me the strength to respond with love whenever I am needed, no matter who makes that call.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Saturday, Fourth Week of Easter

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes
in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these…”

From John 14:7-14

My friend, John, talked about Mother Teresa before she had become known worldwide. John was a young priest who deeply respected this Albanian woman whose life inspired him so. Mother Teresa was drawn to the religious life very early on. After she entered the convent, she was eventually assigned to a high school in Calcutta. While teaching her students, she could not ignore the extreme poverty beyond the windows of her classroom. She was so moved by the need she saw there that she asked permission to devote herself to the poor. Mother Teresa eventually petitioned the pope for permission to found her own religious order which would be dedicated to serving those in the most dire poverty. Her mark upon this world of ours is undeniable.

John emulated Mother Teresa by truly living the spirit of poverty himself. He never drove a new car or owned a tailored suit. Though he eventually held an important and prestigious position in the archdiocesan seminary system, he never lost his flair for living the simple life. John always made time for those who needed him. John also did his best to make provisions for those in need -even the most difficult to love. When John passed away, we who knew him agreed that he was a very good man who emulated Mother Teresa and Jesus himself in all that he did. Perhaps John is our own saint-in-the-making.

Dear God, thank you for Mother Teresa, for John and for all of the good and generous souls who engage in the best of your work.