We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us." 1 John 4:16
God’s love and care for us extend to every dimension of our lives. It is most apparent in the many blessings I receive every day, although my vision is often obscured by the challenges and problems I encounter every day. So I decided that a first step to motivate me to put my love for others more into action is to stop to literally count my blessings. At the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday evening, I was blessed by the presence of one of the surest signs of God’s love in my life: my mother. For me the blessing was magnified by the thoughtfulness of my brother and sister who brought her, realizing how much she would want to attend Mass with me for Mother’s Day, and also how difficult it would be for me to make that happen on a busy weekend. That’s three big blessings right there! It makes me realize I can spend more time thinking about how I can facilitate people getting together with people they love when I have the time to invite and transport them.
On Sunday, I was blessed by the many devoted parents who brought their children to receive the Eucharist for the first time. They had participated in our Eucharist workshops and taken responsibility to help their children grow in faith and be ready for this important step in their faith journey. They showed such love and attentiveness to their children, and the joy of the event was contagious. I realize I am losing count of my blessings already! It makes me realize I can spend more time and attention looking for opportunities to help others grow, to participate with them in activities that support that growth, not only in faith but in all the ways people strive to reach their full human potential.
That same morning, several people took the time to seek me out to tell me that they had enjoyed the Mass and commented on aspects of the experience of worship. It was a real blessing that people took the time to encourage me in my work. It is so easy to be your own worst critic. More blessings! It makes me realize I need to look for ways to encourage people who do things that I appreciate and value and encourage them with affirmation. Along the same lines, a gentleman sought me out after Mass to thank me for visiting with him and his wife and for praying and celebrating the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with them. His wife had since died, and he wanted me to know how meaningful and important the experience had been. One more big blessing for me! It made me realize how important it is to tell people when they have made a difference and to thank them.
Take your next step: Count your blessings! As you reflect on the ways you have been blessed, think of ways you can be a blessing to others in the ways that you have been blessed this week.