Love In the Offering
When I was four, I was an expert scribbler!!! If you were to give me a coloring page, I would feel the need to use a lot of colours and present them on the page going this direction and that direction!! My colouring page would look something like this: green faces, blue hands, purple hair, and orange toes!!! I was a natural four year old Michelangelo!!! The greatest part about it is, I tried so hard to make it nice because it was going to be for my parents! Whenever I had artwork that I wanted to give to my parents as a gift, my mom would say: “O honey, we will treasure this!!”
I find it fascinating that even though what I had to offer my parents, this artwork, was not exactly, perfect…they loved it because it was something from their daughter…a priceless treasure! It was special because they knew that my heart was in it, even though it did not come out perfectly and it was special because they knew that I gave it to them with a great desire to show them that I love them.
In our last posting, we looked at the importance of contemplating the face of Jesus, seeing in His eyes the truth about Him and about ourselves. Now we must contemplate on our response to His love. What must be central in our thoughts is the conviction that God loves us. Jesus offered everything to the Father when He gave Himself for us! Whatever or whoever we love, we are drawn to. Is Jesus the main one I am drawn to? If so, then I will want to say “I love you!” and show it!
What can we, poor, imperfect, sinful creatures offer to God? The answer is really in the question. We can offer God our littleness, our brokenness, our tiredness, our loneliness, our struggles, anxieties, afflictions, temptations…even your sins. Yes, Jesus wants those too! What else can we offer? Our families, our children, grand-children, spiritual children, our work, our service, our joys, our laughter, our peace. Even though our offerings are not perfect, and it may seem like we are offering to God just some scribbles on a page…really we are giving to God in a little way our heart.
The Scriptures tell us that God our loving Father wants our hearts. God looks at the love of His sons and daughters who wish to give of themselves. When we make an offering of ourselves to God, we are making an act of worship and praise like the psalmist: “I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation…” (Psalm 13:5-6). When we make an offering to God, we are focusing on God, our true treasure: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21) The saints would offer themselves: “Give until it hurts” says the great Saint Mother Teresa who was so preoccupied with aiding the poor seeing Jesus in them. She also said, “intense love does not measure, it just gives!”
Do you know one of the best times to make our offering to God? At Holy Mass! There is a beautiful time before the Consecration where the bread and wine are brought to the altar and offered. We call this the offertory. This is the time where we, the faithful, can offer ourselves in union with Jesus’ own sacrifice for us on Calvary. Remember that the priest prays, “Pray brethren that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.” Imagine…we can offer ourselves with Jesus! How pleasing that is to the Father! Holy Mass is the most privileged time, but we can make offerings to God anytime of the day! Any moment of irritation that you take with patience, chores that you completed when you did not feel like it, blamed for something that you did not do and staying quiet about it, smiling at someone who may have hurt you in the past…these are all moments that we can offer up to God which says, “I love you Lord!”
God loves scribblers!!! It’s okay if what we offer is a little messy! What is most important is the love in the offering!