• December 23, 2017

Taught by a 9-year-old

by Christina C., on mis­sion in Romania

     We visit a huge foster home center that is set up as a mas­sive boarding school for chil­dren ranging in age from infant to 19. Apartments filled with fam­i­lies of one “parent” and up to 15 chil­dren from all over the place - who were sent there because their par­ents cannot sup­port them, didn’t want them, or they do not have par­ents. We go and visit with the fam­i­lies, play with the chil­dren, and help with chores and home­work. One day we were at mass at the church there with the chil­dren. As I waited to receive com­mu­nion, I watched all the chil­dren, pushing and pulling each other, leading one another towards the altar for com­mu­nion. As I waited, I was able to see one boy, Steven. He was last in the line, let­ting everyone in front of him as he stood silently smiling and waiting. His peace and desire to receive the Eucharist was evi­dent in the joy that was expressed in his silent smile and lightly closed eyes as he swayed, waiting behind the others. As he approached the altar, he came to the pew where I was. When Steven came to my pew, he pulled me by the hand into the line in front of him. By this little action, this little ges­ture from Steven, I was able to truly share in the joy and for­give­ness that we can receive every day in the sacra­ments. I real­ized my own care­less­ness in my recep­tion of the Eucharist when I saw this 9 year old boy waiting in patient expec­ta­tion to receive our Lord, and I was truly struck by the sim­plicity of his gen­erosity. It was in this moment that I real­ized, that in every moment I give, in every moment I love another person, I am able to do so only because I was first loved. Something that I had heard so many times took on tan­gible form through the pres­ence of this boy.

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