Daily Reflection
August 10th, 2001
Brigid Quinn Laquer
Preventive Medicine
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Feast of St. Lawrence 
Second Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalms 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
John 12:24-26

“God can multiply his favors among you so that you may always have enough of everything and even a surplus for good works...”

2 Corinthians 9:8
“Happy the man who is merciful and lends to those in need.” 
Psalms 112:1

“Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat.  But if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

John 12:24

Our readings today are very familiar to us, often being quoted by themselves in application to many different situations.  This is good, and not so good.  Does it mean we have a preconceived notion as to what these verses mean and how they apply to our lives?  Or maybe it means that we are confused as to their meaning and apply them incorrectly to situations!  Oh, no!  How can we tell?

I heard a priest say recently that you can tell if something is from the Holy Spirit if it fosters unity and reconciliation.  If not, it cannot be from the Holy Spirit.  Can it really be that simple?  Well, no because it is still we humans who are deciding if it fosters unity and reconciliation, and we could be fallible in that decision, but if we truly strive for unity and reconciliation in our families, in our church, at work, in our state, in our country and in the world…WOAH!  How far do we have to go with this?  (Think globally, act locally).

Right now my husband and I are dealing with our oldest, who is 18, and will be starting college this fall.  (Everyone who has experienced this age and time in a young person’s life probably understands without me going into further detail.  For you who have not had this special experience….)  The need for separation coupled with fear and loses on all the players’ part creates a macabre living situation.  It is a real emotional drain and makes it very difficult to respond to our other children and each other as fully as we would like.  It is reassuring to hear the promise of ‘He multiplies His favors among you so you will always have enough and even a surplus.’  He will be sure we have enough time, love, understanding, and patience to go around for everyone.

‘Happy the man who is merciful.’  It is so much easier to be forgiving of our daughter’s inexperience, her selfishness, and her self centeredness, then to lecture and discipline and really create much more tension, turmoil, and anxiety for the whole family.  It helps to try to remember me at that age, I am sure I was equally frustrating to my parents.  It helps, too, to keep in perspective that we are all human and we all have to go through the process of growing up, just as we all had to go through the process of being born.  It is more difficult for some than for others.  But if we survive then we can grow.

‘If a grain of wheat dies, it produces much fruit.’  When we die to our selfishness, it can be very life giving.  As parents, my husband and I have to ‘let our daughter go.’  She now has to make her way on her own.  We have guided and nourished her for 18 years.  She now must take her own path.  (I have always loved Kahlil Gibran’s image:  we parents are the bow, our children are arrows.  The bow aims and shoots, but the arrow, once released, is independent of the bow and travels far away from the bow.)  My daughter must learn to die to her selfishness, too, in order to bear great fruit.  She will have many choices to make in deciding her life.  She will have to make sacrifices to reap the fullness of her potential.  She too will have to let go of things so that they can live.

As we work to maintain good communication with our oldest; as we work to keep everyone in the house on track; as we reconcile immaturity and inexperience, help us Lord to always depend on You.  May we remain faithful servants and be honored with the fullness of grace from Your Father and ours.  Amen.


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