Columnists Mark my words

Well, what are you waiting for?

Father Mark Goldasich is the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of the Leaven since 1989.

by Father Mark Goldasich

During Advent at the parish this year, we’ve steered away from the traditional “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” in favor of some different songs, including a simple but beautiful closing hymn. It’s called “The Whole World Is Waiting for Love.”

The song, written by Sister Marianne Misetich, SNJM, has this catchy refrain: “Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! The whole world is waiting for Love, the whole world is waiting for Love.”

Christmas is indeed a special time to reflect on love and that’s best done through stories. Here’s one of my favorites:

A man once punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father on Christmas morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”

The man was embarrassed by his overreaction earlier but, after unwrapping it, he raged again when he saw that the box was empty. He yelled, “Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside?”

The little girl, with tears in her eyes, said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They’re all for you, Daddy!”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl and begged for her forgiveness.

A short time later, an accident took the life of this child. Her father kept the gold box by his bed for many years and, whenever discouraged, he’d take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. For truly, love is the most precious gift in the world. (Adapted from Meir Liraz’s “Top 100 Motivational Stories: The Best Inspirational Short Stories and Anecdotes of All Time.)

Love, love, love. We hear the word so much anymore that the true power of genuine love is often diluted. But love, especially that which comes from Love itself, is still a powerful force, even in its simplest form. This Facebook post from Tabitha, a parishioner of mine, demonstrates it well:

“Mom and I had a great afternoon together shopping. . . . We finished our first stop and went to eat lunch at Noodles and Co. and met a really sweet family in line ahead of us. The little girl was 3 and the little boy couldn’t have been much older than 18 months. They got their food and, as we waited for ours to arrive, the boy had a meltdown. . . . Mom and Dad kept their cool, but nothing was working to calm the little man down.

Dad took over and, as his back was turned to us, my mom held her hands out to the little man and he reached for her. He calmed down immediately and I asked him if he wanted his food. Then, his sister wanted to come sit with us, too! I gave the tearful mom a hug and rubbed her back, and I told her things were OK and she was doing a great job. Mom and Dad finished their lunch in peace, just a table away from us, and the little girl and little man sat and ate with us. It was so much fun!

Everyone was in a much better place and mood after that, and the kids’ mom came to talk with us and said, “You hear about women helping women, but it’s so nice to experience it.” I told her there should be more of this in society and thanked her for letting us help, and we gave each other a big mama bear hug. . . . Just moms helping moms, women helping women, people helping people. Compassion goes so far and I thank the Lord that he gave me the ability to be a servant to others. Thanks to my mom for sharing that beautiful experience with me.”

Life, especially during the Christmas season, is all about making selfless Love real. And after all, isn’t that what the whole world is really waiting for?

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Fr. Mark Goldasich

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