Boxes of forgotten Christmas ornaments. Silver trays that have served many a delicacy. Hand sewn linens passed from mother to daughter.
Family heirlooms are one of the delights of my soul. I returned yesterday from a visit to my Nana, and each time I visit she pulls out a box or two to sift through. Stories abound and many memories are evoked as she lovingly removes each item. Paintings my late grandfather created draw us back to vacations lazing about the beach. A simple but unique dish she received many years ago as a wedding gift is a reminder of friends and family gathering around the table. It’s a beautiful segue to laughter and tears.
Over the years I have been blessed to be the recipient of several of these items as my grandmother entrusts them to me to be used, loved, and shared.
In today’s reading, Jesus compares the gift of our Faith to pearls, warning us not to throw them to the pigs. (Matthew 7:6) As Christians, and especially as Catholics, we are the custodians of our Faith, of the life of the Church, and most especially, of the Sacraments. I think of all the beautiful items my grandparents have passed down to me, and I’m reminded of the superior beauty of our Faith. Of how it is meant to be used and put into action. How it is to be loved and treated as something of value. And finally, how it is meant to be shared with others.
Like my grandmother’s wedding dishes or a pearl, our faith is given to us with the presupposition that it will be treasured. It’s not meant to be set out in a dusty shed, tarnishing from disuse, getting covered in dust. Rather it is to be held in an intimate place in our homes and our lives, shared with those we come in contact with.
It is my privilege to serve apple pie in my Nana’s dish at Thanksgiving. I love showing people a special piece my grandfather drew when they come to my home. May we treat our faith in the same manner, inviting others to share in its richness and greater understanding.
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How do you honor the gift of Faith you’ve been given? Ponder how you can present and share that gift with those around you.
Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother to four boys. When not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or writing at her blog. You can find out more about her here.