Because God Loves Us More Than We Can Imagine

Sunday was bookmarked by two separate encounters with our 13-year-old son that left me awestruck by a God who had brought such a child into my life through no merit of my own.

Yesterday morning came too early for me; I had stayed up very late at a neighborhood block party and had to rise with the rest of my family as we scattered in different directions – Greg to lector at an early Mass, and our 10-year-old son to a Little League baseball playoff game. That left Gabriel and me at home, where I attempted to supervise his remaining homework before the 11 a.m. Mass, where he was an altar server.

 This was a morning of poor parenting; my frustration with his disorganization devolved into my raising my voice, speaking to him harshly, and then  dissolving into tears of regret and exhaustion. Mass and the Penitential Rite (“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault…”) could not come soon enough.

My husband had church and baseball and work commitments yesterday, which meant I was home most of the day without him or the car and with the children and our new yelping puppy and the pouring rain. My mood lifted after Mass and a long nap. When Greg returned last night, we ate a quick meal and I left to go grocery shopping. I drove home bone tired, the van filled with bags of groceries.

As I pulled up to our home, I could see no lights on and I figured everyone had gone to bed. As it turned out, Greg and our younger son were asleep. Gabriel padded downstairs when he heard me come in. “Mom,” he said. “Let me get the rest of the bags out of the car.” I thanked him and I sat down. He brought every bag in and then said, “Let me put these away for you.”

I logged onto the family computer to check emails as he put away cans of chick peas and black beans, a carton of ice cream,  boxes of whole wheat pasta, and bags of grapes, apples and bananas. Then he asked if he could try the coconut milk I had purchased. And while he sipped it, he talked  to me about his progress on his PowerPoint on nuclear proliferation for social studies class. Except for the light in the kitchen, the house was dark. Except for our conversation, the world had the quiet sound it does after much rain.

At Mass yesterday, the readings focused on forgiveness. The Gospel passage, from Luke 7, was as Msgr. Charles Pope puts it: a Parable about two people who had a debt which neither could repay. Note carefully, neither could repay.”  This passage weaves well with a notion that has kept striking me over the past few weeks and returned forcefully to me last night: God loves us so much that He willed us into being from nothingness. Nothing we did or can do merit His love.

And then, I thought last night, God showers us with blessings all through our lives. He gave my husband and me this extraordinary boy-turning-man to raise and the little one sleeping upstairs. He gave us these boys to raise not because we were especially good or deserving. He did so because He loves us all more deeply than any of us is capable of knowing this side of Heaven.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful, and oh so true .

  • Sarah Harkins

    And he gives us children to know his extraordinary joy and love when he sees us- his big kids. When I am filled with joy from being with my children, I remember that this is how God feels about me and I remember his love for me too. @Anonymous- Ditto! Beautiful and true, Allison!

  • Abuelita

    Sometimes we expect so much of children, and then they surprise us at last by being more wonderful than we could have wished for.

  • Shannon

    Grace found in the kitchen. Amazing, isn't it?

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful, Allison!I thank God that the veil has be rent (torn) so that we may go boldly to Him directly, at any time to confess our sin….Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.In this next verse, the writer, John, was speaking to believers, not those who are not born again of His Spirit….1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.No human mediator needed. Jesus is our High Priest… praise God we can go directly to Him!Sue M.

  • Allison

    Sue M. Thank you so much for reading and responding. YOu are my sister in Christ. Sometimes, folks who are not Catholic, are unclear why the Church does require us to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation when the sins involves actions that could jeopardize our salvation. What, they wonder, is the Biblical basis for this? Sin not only affects our relationship with the Almighty, but also others in our world and community. Thus, the working out of sin also is a communitarian act – just as weddings, and baptisms and funerals and ordinations are.We can see the Biblical basis for this sacrament here: "in St. John's Gospel (20:21-23), Jesus explicitly gives the disciples the Holy Spirit and the authority to forgive sins:Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."Jesus gave this power to His disciples and the Church continues to make it present to the People of God. Our response to this gift should first be one of gratitude. Then we should be motivated to examine our consciences, confess our sins, be reconciled to God and our brothers and sister and discover the joy of living in God's mercy."