Today I am thankful for the gift of life. This gift Lord, goes beyond my own life. I am thankful and blessed by all those you have placed in my life – parents, sisters and brothers, children, grandchildren, friends – near and far – old and new – and even into the bigger family of God by means of my baptism. I am blessed by so many who love me.
My parents were blessed many years ago with love and courage to bring seven children into the world. Today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:1-8) gives the example of more courage. A paralytic wanted healing so bad he asked his friends to lower him from the roof into the room you were in because the crowds prevented him for entering through the door. Courage saved him, so that your almighty power could heal him. He had courage to seek you no matter the cost – with his whole heart, to trust being lowered, to have the confidence it would occur.
I pray Lord, for humility in my heart to arm me with courage to do what seems hard; to recognize it’s not about me – not a narcissistic humility (poor me) but like your Mother; Lord, humility in the lowliness of gratitude, surrender and trust. I am not really important, but if you were to ask my grandchildren about that, there may be a different answer. I hope there would be. In their eyes I am very important, because I serve them with love and attention. Ask a stranger, he would have no idea. But if he were in need and I were to stop and give him food or drink, clothes or a bed, I hope he would change his thoughts about me. I see the difference is to have humility that lowers myself and raises another – that’s what I seek Lord.
What does all this matter – courage and humility and the gift of life? It all comes to one name – Mary. Your Mother Mary had courage and humility when the Angel came to ask if she would bear you, the Son of God, into the world. She did not run around and tell others of the greatness which was to come upon her; nor the complications of it; no, she said be it done to me according to your will. In her lowliness, she deferred the greatest to you, to your will. She even went further after hearing of her cousin’s pregnancy; she put her own excitement aside to help her cousin who was also expecting a child; the precursor, John the Baptist. In her humility she chose not to basque in the knowledge of soon becoming the Mother of God but instead to travel across country on a difficult journey. I imagine as she walked she thought much about this gift of life growing within her. But her steps brought her to service of another first.
Arriving at the house of Elizabeth, the baby in her womb leapt for joy when she approached. Elizabeth greeted her as Mother of my Lord. Elizabeth went on telling of her greatness, but Mary gave it all back to you Lord in her beautiful Magnificat. (Luke 1:46-55)
This morning I rose early to be able to start my day with Holy Mass, giving to you Lord my first fruits and all glory for giving me life sixty two years ago today. I thank you every morning and ask for both grace and humility. I ask your Mother for help too, like the friends who lowered the paralytic through the roof; your Mother can help me come before you with my needs. Lastly like Elizabeth, I seek to recognize you as Lord, all the days of my life.
I have more than many Lord, help me to give where there is need; to not count the cost but welcome the stranger and clothe the naked. May I be just, faithful; filled with hope and charity. Make me prudent to do the work you have placed before me with fortitude to do it well; exercising temperance in my relationships with others. May the love I have in my heart for you Lord, overflow to my family and friends and all I meet. May they see you in me. May Jesus Christ be praised.