“I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received.” // 1 Corinthians 15:3
Walls of snow lined the sides of the newly plowed streets as our car crept carefully toward the Cathedral that morning. My daughter sat excitedly in the back seat with her hair freshly curled and her new dress smoothed over her lap. This was the moment for which I had been preparing her, very intensively for a semester of a school year, but really since the moment I knew of her existence in my womb. She was about to be confirmed and receive her final Sacrament of initiation into the Church.
I prayed that she would continue her journey of faith as she discovers the depths of the riches of what the Holy Spirit can do in her life.
Yet what she does with her faith is not in my control. I have learned over the years of being a parent that all I can do for my children and their faith is to hand on, as Saint Paul puts it, what I have received.
And that which I have received, those who came before me also received in a beautiful and connected handing down. I like to envision the teachings of the Church through Tradition as a long spiritual lineage of me learning from my parents, teachers, and priests, and them learning from theirs and them learning from theirs and so on. It goes all the way back and back to the Apostles, perhaps even Saint Paul who handed on what he also received.
When I think of it this way, I relate to Isaiah who proclaimed his lips unclean before they were purified with a burning coal (Isaiah 6:5) and to Saint Peter who fell at the Lord’s feet calling himself a sinful man (Luke 5:8). I see that all that I have to give is only what I have received.
Sister, the Lord wants us to hand on the truth that we have received from others, to share our faith. We do not know how He will use it in their lives. Let us be like Saint Paul, and while we are all unworthy, trust in God’s grace as we pass it on in faith.All that I have to give is only what I have received. // Susanna Spencer Click To Tweet