By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).
It can be a challenge to feel the presence of God’s power in difficult and uncertain times. Please be watchful and know that God moves in every circumstance of life. Our faith will grow if we are intentional about finding God in all situations.
Children are precious gifts from God and our hope for the future. We must speak to them as if they were the wisest, most beautiful humans on the earth because they will become what they believe. Being a grandparent is an amazing opportunity to help foster a happy and confident child. When you share the faith with a grandchild, you are certainly giving them a lifelong gift. Children are very observant, and learn from our actions and our words. Teaching them to know and love Jesus in all that we do is a wonderful gift.
There is a beautiful stained-glass window in the sanctuary of our church at Sts. Francis and Clare in Greenwood. It is placed high on the wall behind the altar table. The image is Jesus at a table with his hands outstretched over plates and cups with wine, bread, and fish. Our six-year-old grandson was looking up and obviously studying the window during the readings at Mass.
He whispered his thoughts to me: ”Grandma, I always thought this was a picture of the Last Supper, but I just realized there is a wound in Jesus’ hand. This had to be after the Crucifixion; the Last Supper was the night before He died, so I think this must have been just before His Ascension, when the Apostles thought He was a ghost until He ate a meal with them. Maybe this is when Thomas placed his finger in the wounds to see if Jesus was real.” I always tell the boys if they have a question about anything happening during Mass to be sure and ask. This was not a question, but a revelation of just how much this child understands the gift Jesus has given to us in the Paschal Mystery!
“Jesus said to them: ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed’” (John 20:19-31).
This was the gospel on the second Sunday of Easter as my grandson revealed his thoughts. It was also Divine Mercy Sunday, and I prayed that all people would be asking for God’s mercy on our troubled world. If we could all view the world through the eyes of an innocent child, it would be so easy to believe.
Unfortunately, we know that all children are not living in a loving environment. We each have a responsibility to offer hope to those in despair – children and adults. We have become fearful of offending those who don’t understand what it means to follow Jesus, and our silence is revealed in a culture filled with unbelief.
We labor and strive because our hope is in a living God who is the Savior of all people. Faith is when you close your eyes and open your heart with deep and genuine prayer! Teach your children well; it is never too late to begin because adult children also need reasons to believe! Amen!