As I walked into church early on All Saints Day, I noticed parents dropping off their children at the parish school. There was a lot of commotion, car doors closing, voices saying goodbyes and wishes for a good day. With bags and backpacks, students hurried through the school doors. I remembered when we did this same drill with our children and grandchildren. It was challenging, with traffic and safety always in mind – and trying to be on time. Also, there was the ominous last-minute question to our young ones, “do you have everything you need for school?” That’s a better question for before you leave home.
Most consoling statement: “Love you, bye; I’ll pick you up after school.”
For us, the drop-off and pick-up routine went on for years. And then the young ones outgrew the need. We miss parts of the daily shepherding. These days, instead of providing transport, we offer listening, availability, and interest in them that they can access as needed. They know this, and they know we welcome and cherish the opportunity.
We are in the closing days of the Liturgical Year. Also, in November, we traditionally remember the “faithful departed.” It is a perfect time to prayerfully reflect on our place here, our earthly home, and how precious our loved ones are to us, a network of love and family that encourages us all our days. Grace is in our midst!
It is as if the Lord drops us off here when we are born. He tells us He loves us, assures us He is present to us always, encourages us to learn, and promises to pick us up after our days are complete. He provides parents, guardians, teachers, friends, coworkers, spouses, and children to teach us life’s most profound lessons. All of these people, both those with us and those with God, enlighten our path forward. They are blessings that sustain us, opening the doors of our experience. Here, in these times, in so many grace-filled ways, we are preparing for our eternal home.
“Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.” (Wisdom 3:9)
In our family prayer, let us be open to God’s grace and grateful for how His love is present in all the routines of our lives.
About John Dacey
John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.