I lined up the stainless steel plates next to the stove. The lasagna had baked and rested, and now my restless young children were hovering, watching me with hungry eyes, sneaking tastes of melty cheese off the peeled-back tin foil.
I picked up the serving knife and, just before slicing, I experienced a shift in my heart.
I was used to allocating edge pieces to my children, saving the best, center pieces for my husband and (more honestly) myself. In fact, no matter what I created in the kitchen, with my mind, or with my hands, I always saved the best for me. They don’t know the difference, it doesn’t matter, was the subconscious mantra of my service.
But over that lasagna, the Holy Spirit pushed my vision beyond selfishness.
I ache to give my children the very best of the entire world, and He showed me that it encompasses even the smallest details, like lasagna pieces. While I continue to battle selfishness in my motherhood, my heart now longs to sacrifice my own preferences in consideration of theirs.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that "[n]o one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (John 15:13). Of course, the greatest reality of this Truth is His sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation.
As imitators of Christ, we are called to lay down our lives for Him and each other. While this self-denial sometimes calls us to enormous sacrifice, most often, we live this mission in the mundane movements of life.
How is He asking you to lay down your life today? It might not feel consequential. No one may ever know or notice. Nevertheless, pursuing this greater love is worth offering every piece of our hearts (and our lasagna).
In your prayer time today, ask the Lord to show what you can offer to Him, little or big.
Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky where the sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She and shares weekly tips for prayer and Catholic living. She likes to binge novels and Netflix while raising her children and laughing with her husband. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.