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Modest Gifts of Great Impact - Family Reflection Video

Modest Gifts of Great Impact - Family Reflection Video

Holy lives of inspiration

The wedding of Princess Diana (Lady Diana Spencer) in 1981 was watched by 750 million people. She died in an accident at 36 years old on August 31, 1997. More than 2.5 billion people watched her funeral in 1997. At her funeral, singer Elton John brought tears to the eyes of hundreds of mourners in Westminster Abbey when he sang: “Candle in the Wind, Goodbye England’s Rose.”


Interestingly, this song was originally written for an equally glamorous woman, Norma Jeanne, who assumed the stage name ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and died at 36 years old on August 5, 1962, due to an overdose of sleeping pills.


Diana and Marilyn share many things in common – both were beautiful and wealthy, photographed by paparazzi worldwide, yet, unhappy in marriage or relationships, and both died tragically in August at thirty-six years of age – young icons whose lives were snuffed out like candles in the wind. Both had great fame and wealth but ended up tragically dying way too soon.


Let me mention someone else who had neither great physical beauty or fame at the outset. However, this person took what little God had given her and turned it over completely to God and, still today, we can see what God did with her modest gifts.


Five days after Princess Diana died there was another “going home,” this one for Mother Teresa (canonized as St. Teresa of Calcutta) who died on September 4, 1997, at age 86. She was a “wise woman,” spending her whole life sharing Christ’s selfless, caring, self-sacrificing love with the down-trodden in the streets of Calcutta.


God blessed her humble gifts put at the service of the poor and the lonely allowing her small dozen original Missionaries of Charity to grow into a congregation to 3,000 serving the poor and the discarded in 100 countries.


Just as the small boy in the gospel turned over the five loaves and two dried fish to the Lord, and Jesus used those simple gifts to feed the five thousand, so He does something even more wonderful at every Eucharist. He uses what little we and our families have to offer in the Eucharist and multiplies it many times over using it to nourish not only our families, friends, and neighbors abundantly, but unknown people living and dead, known and unknown to us.


God doesn’t just give us enough; He gives us abundantly for the sake of the world and our families. Amen.

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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.