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Offer it up
04/29/2022 Friday Gospel Reflection
When I was a child my mom would say these words, “offer it up.” When I inquired how that worked her response was, “for the poor souls.” Eventually I understood that my mom was suggesting I offer my suffering for the poor souls in Purgatory. Jesus is doing something similar, “where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Jesus already “knew what he was going to do…There is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” This is exactly how I felt when my mom would say, “offer it up.” What good was the scrape on my knee for so many, all those poor souls?
St. Catherine of Sienna, whose memorial is today, wrote in her Dialogues: “The soul therefore, who chooses to love me must suffer for me anything at all that I give her…they may suffer at the hands of others, or from illness or poverty or the instability of the world. They may lose their children or other loved ones. All such things are thorns the earth produced because of sin. They endure them all, considering by the light of reason and holy faith that I am goodness itself and cannot will anything but good.”
God can magnify our meager offerings. If you are unsure where to begin, start at the Mass. During the offertory, take all your sufferings, joy, work, toil, whatever are your two loaves and fish, and offer them with the bread and wine. When the priest pours the drop of water into the chalice and says, “By the mystery of this water in wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity,” imagine your suffering being poured into that chalice and let Jesus work the miracle.