“I showed up”. These are the words of a single, young woman who “showed up” to foster children because “all children deserve to be loved.” She had been working with Tennessee Kids Belong, an organization that suggests on their website “Regardless of your occupation, skillset, and life stage, you have the unique ability & opportunity to impact the lives of children in foster care.” She must have heard that call on her heart because she took it seriously. Today she has five daughters under eight years of age (two are toddlers) who she started out fostering, but became permanently part of her life.
This week’s prayer group and case study (albeit virtual, as they have been for the past two months) brought to light the remarkable selflessness of the way this woman acted and how she took responsibility to help despite feeling totally unequipped and unprepared. “It wasn’t pretty,” she admits “but all kids deserve to be loved.” Not everyone may consider themselves in a position to adopt five daughters, but she believed strongly in what the website states; that everyone can do something to help positively “impact the lives of children in foster care.”
We had multiple cases that were like this one, especially friends we have who have put their own hopes and dreams aside to make room to love someone who need it. It was astounding to us that this woman probably had hopes of being married and having a family herself, but the adoption of five kids wasn’t the kind of “package deal” many people would want to buy into to begin a new life. It didn’t matter to her. She knew that the kind of person she would want to spend her life with would want these girls to be a part of his life as much as she did.
We recognized this woman’s outstanding CHARITY (theological virtue) and Justice (constant, firm will to give what is due to God and to our neighbor) and her human virtues of compassion, mercy, love of neighbor and care. We decided we will act in practicing these virtues by:
How we will pray this week:
Lord, by your grace we belong to your Church and share in her mission to save all people. Help us to know you better, follow you more closely, and make you known to everyone. Give us the courage and enthusiasm to befriend all those we meet and lead them to you. Never let us offend you by anything we say or do. Keep us close to you and make us strong and active members of your Church. Strengthen your life in us and make it grow so that we will do everything with you and for you. Amen.
How we will Act: We will donate to Tennessee Kids Promise via their wish list on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/305PLIWQ58VYF?ref_=wl_share
Gospel JN 17:1-11A
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
We prayed with the gospel reading from the Seventh Sunday of Easter. We asked the Holy Spirit to accompany us, yielding the following lights:
- They belonged to you, and you gave them to me… God has called people to Himself and set them apart to do His will. When we know Him, our responsibility to share Him in the world should be at the top of our priority list.
- I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world…We must ask ourselves this question: who has God given us? Who are His that I am called to minister (reveal God) to? Even if I can only help one person, that person can in turn reach out to many souls. We must realize the work God gives us to do–to take care of the souls He places in our care–can have many ripple effects.
- One friend said she thought she should be able to meet God with the stadium full of souls that she gathered for Him. Another said she hoped to “bring a million souls” to God, and then we all laughed when she said our friend, Father M (who is known widely for his great zeal) responded to her with “oh that’s WAY too low of a number!”
- I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do...Jesus “finished” the work he was sent to do. We may not ever get to experience that wonderful feeling that our work on this earth is accomplished, but what we need to keep in perspective is that our work is dependent on God. Only He can accomplish His will in us. We cannot do it on our own. We must continually worship and pray.
- The gospels remind us that we need to be worshiping in Spirit and Truth. The Trinity is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a family this love is received and returned in a constant and equal form (such as a triangle). We are invited into this love not by earning it, but simply by receiving it for the gift that it is, and then pouring it back out to those around us. This is the true meaning of love; to participate in the gift of giving and receiving wrapped up in the Spirit of the Holy Trinity.