There is a popular little story that has been circulating around for quite a while now. The plot is relatively simple: A little boy walks up to his mother in the kitchen as she is preparing supper, and is a little annoyed that her son can’t seem to wait until everything is ready. Well, he hands her an invoice! Exactly. He is basically charging the family for things like cutting the grass, cleaning his room, babysitting, etc. And there he was, waiting for payment with hand outstretched.
The reflection continues with his mother recalling all the memories of her son from the day she told her husband that she was pregnant, to the day they brought him home to this very moment in time. Her response was not only brilliant, poetic and moving, but also laced with pure truth:
For the nine months I carried you in my womb, NO CHARGE.
For all the times you were sick and I took care of you, NO CHARGE.
For all the hours I worried about you, NO CHARGE.
For everything we ever bought for you, NO CHARGE.
For all the meals we served you, NO CHARGE.
For a nice home, good parents and a happy life, NO CHARGE.
The story ends beautifully with the little boy crying a bit, telling his mom how much he loves her and then takes the pen, X’s out the bill and writes in big bold letters, PAID IN FULL.
The Lord is calling out to you and me to re-capture the joy and innocence of being a child. So care-free, so loved and yet so small-minded, at times. Let us move forward as His children and love being loved by the one who is love. From our First Reading: “Fear not, my children; call out to God!” From the Gospel: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
Let us pray: I am God’s precious child and have been bought at a price. There is no reason to lose hope because God will never fail me. May I remember this and smile and rejoice. Amen.