Mary Anne fell ill with pneumonia at the age of eighty-seven. She survived but the recovery has left her bedridden. She is weak, no longer able to carry out the daily demands of feeding, washing, and dressing herself. She has gone from being an incredibly active and self-sufficient woman to depending completely on those around her. Mary Anne has struggled with this transition in her life. Her self-worth was wrapped up in her ability to give. "What's the purpose of living life stuck in a bed?" she would ask God. For the first time in her life, she has grappled with despair. Nearly every day, despite an hour-long commute each way, Mary Anne's daughter bursts in the door with a huge smile and a story to tell. Danielle has her mother's energy and joy for life. Mary Anne's despair has met its match in Danielle. Together they laugh and talk through the hard reality of Mary Anne's new life. Danielle helps keep some semblance of normalcy for her mother by dyeing her hair to cover the gray and painting her nails so she has something pretty to look at when the nights get lonely. When asked by her husband why she feels the need to visit her mother so often Danielle responds by saying, simply, "As a kid I went to bed every night knowing I was loved because of my mother. She deserves to feel the same way now." That's beautiful mercy.
Serving others is at the core of the mission God has for his children. When it comes to serving people in need, our family, the Catholic Church, has an incredible track record. The Church feeds more people, houses more people, clothes more people, educates more people, and takes care of more sick people than any other institution in the world. And the Church achieves this through the action of ordinary Catholics like you and me. For thousands of years God has been using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He delights in dynamic collaboration with humanity. He doesn't necessarily choose the people who are the best educated or who are good-looking; he doesn't choose people because they are in positions of power and authority; he doesn't always choose the most eloquent and persuasive. There is only one type of person God has used powerfully throughout history: He does incredible things with the people who make themselves available to him; it is the prerequisite for mission.
—From the book, Beautiful Mercy, by Matthew Kelly and others from Dynamic Catholic
How does this Christmas season provide you with an opportunity to make yourself available to God to continue His mission?
God bless you!