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"Things are not always as they seem and we should operate out of love and blessing. These words ring true for me. Last month on my way to serve as a lector at the 7:30 Mass, I was grumpy and running late. My son, the senior altar server, did not feel like getting out of bed and was complaining about having to go to Mass. You guessed it! We hit every red light and followed every slow driver. Tensions were high as we reached the church and the mounds of snow made finding a parking place difficult. An older woman had maneuvered her car so that she was taking up two spaces. Short on time, I inched my car in grumbling at her inconsideration. I got out of the car ready to dash into the church and the old lady was in front of me moving very slowly. At this point, I just about lost it. Then by the grace of God, I heard in my spirit. 'Sheila, you are heading in there to read the Word of God but where is the love in your heart?' Before I knew it, I went up next to the woman and offered her my arm. She said to me, 'You are an angel. My daughter told me not to come to Mass today but I had to. You see my husband died 2 weeks ago. He slipped on the ice and ended up in the hospital and never came back!' I asked his name. I remembered reading it the week before during the prayer of the faithful mostly because it was difficult to pronounce. Wow! I got an icy reception from the sacristan for being late, but it didn't matter. I got to see God at work. After Mass on the way out of the church, my son and I happened upon the same woman again. She had waited for everyone to leave the church and she was walking alone. This time it was my son who took her arm and escorted her safely to her car. It was the most beautiful gift my mother's heart could receive."
Isn't this beautiful! I see how God can turn an ugly situation into a heavenly one in a twinkling of an eye! All it takes is a change in the heart, a move toward love and away from selfishness and sin. "May every hatred and jealousy disappear from your life and your thoughts, and may there only dwell love for God and for your neighbor." Thank you, Sheila, for sharing this experience with us! Maybe if we all pay closer attention to what is brewing within we will be able to uproot all that is not love and instead move towards God and neighbor with hearts of service and joy! In Jesus and Mary!
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Image by DigiDragon via Flickr
Image by Rosie O'Beirne via Flickr