Sunday, October 26, 2008
Image: George Mendoza
Good morning, good God!
Sunday morning, at the 7:30 Mass,
a young boy served at the altar for the first time.
He did a fine piece of work for you, Lord,
and for your people.
If he was nervous, it didn't show on his face
or in his steady hands.
But, truth be told, Lord,
my eyes were on two others more than on young Patrick.
His dad had come to Mass with him
and took a seat right where he could be sure to see
every move his son made.
I wasn't inattentive to my own duties, Lord,
but I was blessed by watching Ed watch his boy...
How often this father's gaze fell upon his son
with watchful pride, vigilant love and tender joy.
I wondered what benchmark might this day have been
for the man who had fathered this boy,
who was there at his birth...
Ed's heart spirited every move Patrick made,
or so it seemed,
and at the same time joyfully absorbed the sweet fruit
of his son's study and practice and desire to do well.
And then there was Nick, one of our senior servers,
just this week turned 18 and pleased as punch
to announce in the sacristy before Mass
that he was old enough now to vote!
Nick deftly guided Patrick without the youngster's ever knowing it,
gently coaching, inviting and offering opportunities for different tasks,
graciously taking them on himself if his junior declined.
Nick recalled for his new colleague his own early days in an alb
and his original nervousness -
and I remembered how Nick's older brother Mark
had done the same for him...
How blessed was I, Lord, to see all this!
I cannot imagine how much more you saw
from where you sat in our church this morning...
Long intro here, Lord, but here's my Monday morning offering...
I offer you my thanks for your fatherly vigil over the day ahead of me...
I offer you my praise for the ways you take pride
in the person you created me to be,
the person you draw forth each day
from my fears, my failings and my frailty...
I offer you my joy that I am, indeed, the apple of your eye!
I offer you my heart's longing
for the Father's love you have for me
in so many ways I do not see,
in ways too many for me to count,
in ways I need to find...
I offer you my day
and I trust that you will guide my every step,
coaching me to walk the path you mark for me,
helping me move forward, patient with my missteps,
ever ready to lift me up when I fall or fail...
I offer you my trust
that you have walked this road of mine,
that you remember the twists and turns I will face,
that you will be my older brother,
showing me the way and guiding me with gentle care...
Help me this day, Lord, to keep a father's eye, a mother's watch
on all who share my path and need my care...
Help me to be sister, to be brother
to any who need my hand for help,
my word for warmth...
Help me serve you, Lord,
as did Patrick at your altar,
with simplicity, innocence and joy...
Posted by Austin Fleming at 11:55 PM