the Spirit of gratitude

on this pentecost sunday, i thank God for my nieces jennifer and valerie. because of my commitment as a claretian priest, i do not know firsthand the gift of being a father. so my nieces have been dear to my heart since they entered into this word.

now in their mid 30s, they are in the homestretch of their young adult years. jennifer works in the worship office of the archdiocese of seattle. valerie is a registered nurse for kaiser.

this past week, i was able to attend our claretian assembly in chicago. it was the first time i had seen my brothers face to face since november 2019. in seeing them, i feel extremely blessed. support from my brother claretians has kept me afloat during my time in seattle caring for my mother.

i left my mother in my nieces’ grand-daughterly care while i went to chicago. they made a special sacrifice of their family time these past days to help my mother be safe, fed and happy. i owe valerie and jennifer my debt of gratitude.

also, i cannot thank them both enough for the daily care they give their grandmother. because of my insufficient emotional maturity, one of them must come to help my mother shower in the morning. since valerie’s office is downstairs, she comes most often; jennifer helps my mom the other days.

i would go crazy if i had to attend to my mothers personal needs. as it stands now, i still get extremely stressed when i accompany her to the bathroom. i can literally feel my blood pressure rise significantly.

my nieces so generously share their God given gifts. st paul references this type of love in the second reading for today from corinthians 12:

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

so i am grateful for the Spirit that works in and through jennifer and valerie. they are a gift to me and my mother. and i love them profoundly. i pray the Lord’s blessings, grace, joy and strength over them today and all days.

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