|An Unexpected Homemade Christmas Gift|
In the last couple of weeks, five minutes would have made all the difference in the world. On two separate occasions penitents came to the confessional after decades away. Had I left early, and they found the confessional empty, they would likely not have come back. I was there. I freed them of their sins. I made a difference.
Similarly, I went to the hospital to visit the mother of one of our RCIA candidates. The daughter plans to join the Church at Easter. Until my visit, her mother had no religious affiliation. She is dying. I offered that she could be fully initiated into the Church, receive the sacraments and be prepared to meet the Lord. She accepted. She is now a Catholic, and when she dies she will go to meet her maker having been fully prepared with every grace the Church can offer her. She will receive a Catholic burial, even as her daughter still toils away in RCIA classes. I made a difference.
Perhaps most notably, this season, though, has been a young man with whom I am acquainted. I am not sure what I did for him. I just get a kick out of him. A few days ago he brought me a gift he had made: a handmade pottery pitcher that his mother told me he had been working on for months. It is beautiful, and the detail is painstaking. The gift was unexpected, and to my mind undeserved, and yet, he gave it. Apparently I made a difference.
In truth, though, it was not I who made the difference. In each of these cases, it was Christ. He, for reasons unknown to me, chose me to be a vehicle through whom He would work in the world. All I have to do is get my own bumbling humanity out of the way and obey Him whose I have been made - to be there when I say I will be there - and Christ will minister to the hearts of His people. And that makes all the difference.