Reflection by Becky Arendt, a parishioner
“Mahal Kita” means “I Love You” in my father’s native language. (Tagalog) It’s written on a wall in our bedroom. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up every morning and it’s the last thing I see when I fall asleep. It’s a visual reminder that God loves me more than I can possibly imagine. In my dreams I hear Him saying, “Becky, don’t forget how much I love you”. My mom use to say it to me all the time and those were the last words she said to me before she passed away 13 years ago.
I missed her voice saying those words to me so much that I wanted my dad to take up her torch and begin saying them to me. This wasn't easy for him. While I’ve never heard him say “I love you”, I know that he absolutely does but I still just wanted to hear it. So I made the decision to hug him and tell him that I loved him whenever we were together. It was awkward at first because that wasn’t something we did. But after 13 years, I’ve noticed a softening. What was once a handshake is now a hug. He has openly expressed sadness in the death of a close friend and has shared more openly his experiences as a 9 year old boy living in the Philippines during WWII. I was called to wrap my arms around and love this beautiful man and in return, he has shown me in many ways that he loves me. And the time he spends with us, his kids and grand kids, is something he truly treasures.
We are called to love. Jesus said it to His disciples, “Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13: 34) He loves us so much that he took our sins, carried them and nailed them to His cross. Just sit in His presence for a few minutes and soak up all the love that He has for you. Even if it is just for 5 minutes, it is an awesome way to begin your day. As a parent, I relish any time I get to spend with my growing teenagers. And I know Jesus treasures and relishes the time we spend with Him.
He loves His children.
And He loves you.
Don’t forget how much He loves you.
+In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.