During every Mass we remember and experience again this essential interaction between God and man of gift and response. God gives all to us through sending the Holy Spirit in the Epiclesis who transforms our gifts of bread and wine (representative of the little work we do in elevating His gifts of wheat and grapes) into the very Body and Blood of Jesus. Having received such an incomprehensible gift, how can we respond? The only “gift” we can give in response is the gift we have just received…Jesus, Himself. When the priest lifts up Jesus and offers Him back to God in the Doxology we, too, offer our thoughts, words, and actions, all of the ways we have imitated the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep, pouring ourselves out for the one who has given all for us.
This year I have witnessed on a regular basis several individuals pouring themselves out for the children, families, and staff of our school. Thank you to those who have truly given all that they have. Your gift of self is seen and it is so appreciated. The beautiful, amazing fruit on your branch of the True Vine is bringing great, great glory to Our Heavenly Father, the Vinegrower. Thank you for opening and enjoying His gifts and for your whole-hearted “yes,” like Mary, in response. May God reward you as only He can!