Small Things With Great Love

Small Things With Great Love

April 10, 2016 | N W | Discipleship, Family, Father Salvador, Love, Mission, Prayer, Service

Third Sunday of Easter
April 10, 2016 – Year C
Readings: Acts 5:27-32, 40B-41 / Ps 30 / Rev 5:11-14 / Jn 21:1-19
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

A little more than a decade ago, in my former parish, I was approached by a mother on her way out of the church, who asked me to offer a special prayer for her son.  She told me that she thought she was doing everything right in raising him to be nourished spiritually and grow up to be a good Christian.  She sent him to a good Catholic school.  They even went on a pilgrimage together to the Holy Land and visited several Marian apparition sites.  In spite of all this, he seemed to have lost his appetite for prayer and practically everything about God and the Church.

Since we both came from the same ethnic background, I didn’t hesitate to ask her the age of her son so I could better gauge her moral responsibility.  She told me at the time her son was almost 40 years old, so I said, “Well, he surely is not a minor anymore.”   She replied, “Yes, but he’s still living in my basement.”  As any priest would have, I encouraged her to continue giving her son unconditional love and support, and, more importantly, to continue to provide a good example of how to live a Christian life.

A few weeks ago, when I was in the Tidewater area, I met that same woman.  She refreshed my memory about her request for prayer and happily informed me that her son had recently started attending Mass.   I said I was so glad he finally listened to her after all this time.  She said that several months after we’d talked, her son got married.   And now that he has a couple of kids, he’s started going to church with his wife and children.  So their children will grow up to be good Catholics.

In spite of all her worry, I would say that she was doing a great job in giving her son spiritual nourishment.  As a testament, he even married a woman who is a good practicing Catholic, and who will surely raise their children in the faith.

In today’s Gospel, in one of Our Lord’s post-resurrection appearances to His disciples, He told Peter to feed His sheep, not just once, but three times.  And that would be Peter’s expression of his love for the Lord.  At one point, Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.  And a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

These words must have been in the mind of the apostles when Our Lord was crucified on the cross.  Now, after His resurrection, He wanted the disciples to take care of His sheep.  By virtue of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation we received, we became not only followers of Jesus, but sons and daughters of God and disciples of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And so, like Peter, we are also being asked to take care of His sheep in whatever little way we can.  But He is not asking us to do what is beyond our capability.  And He is surely not asking us to do what is humanly impossible.  He is asking us to love Him, and to show it in whatever way we can.  Blessed Mother Theresa used to say, “Not all of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love.”  May Our Lord Jesus, whose Body and Blood we will receive in Holy Communion a few minutes from now, give us all the grace to do just that.