We recently had the hot water faucet brake in our bathtub, water was everywhere, I was ticked off and frustrated to say the least (at least I didn’t swear in front of the kids). Two of my three were upset as the middle one was in the tub when all… when things fell apart. Later, Matthew comes in and says “I am upset about the faucet being broke and can’t sleep”. Sensitive little fella isn’t he? He seemed generally concerned, however, being an experienced parent, now I could see he was stalling one more time before going to bed for the night. I answered by saying “it is just a fauscet, homes break, cars break, toys break, it doesn’t really matter. Your are healthy, I am healthy, your mom was safe traveling today, which is what really matters.” Bob Voboril, whom spoke at our diocesan stewardship day this year, said is his keynote address, “we have enough, we are healthy, we have family, we have friends. We have enough.” True we all have enough. The truly valuable things that matter never have a price tag. They are a gift freely given, in abundance that cannot be measured. For me it hard to fully appreciate the gift we receive each time I go to mass. In my teenage years and up till say 25 I never really appreciated the gift of the Eucharist. It takes a deliberate choice to accept the truth received at the table of the Lord. It takes effort to go back each time and say “Yes Lord I receive you in all your glory”. It is easy to take for granted. The routine of mass, the young child behind you, the young children you have with you. It takes a giving up of self to admit “I am not the owner of this life, thank you for giving it to me.” But this is what really matters. Appreciating the things that cannot be bought. You cannot buy health, family, love or Jesus in our lives. These can only be had by giving ourselves first.
Think about two people dating. One person takes the initial step for the first date. If the relationship develops there is sharing of hopes and dreams over dinner. The two give each other deep parts of their lives that know one else knows. They invest in each others activities meeting friends and families. A foundation is being built on mutual giving when both decide to make permanent commitment to live as one. There is no money exchanging hands. (Although florists and photographers everywhere are delighted.) There is no deal to be made. Only a perfect symbol of give, and give, and give with no expectation of return. If the integrity of this process is breeched, the relationship dissolves and the two part ways. God works in us the same way, he gives, and gives, and gives. The difference is he never is the one to walk away. It is us who choose other things. Thankfully we can come back at anytime where God is eagerly waiting for us. When living as a steward, a disciple of Christ, we act like the couple who are dating. We give a part of ourselves with no expectation of return. We end up becoming more like Christ.