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A day before Christmas a father got very upset when he saw his 3-year old daughter wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight  that Christmas and he became angry when the child was using a lot of expensive gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. 

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy!” The father was embarrassed by his earlier behavior. But when he opened the box and found that it was empty, he really blew he cork. He yelled at her: “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside of it?”

The little girl looked up at him and with tears in her eyes said, “But Daddy, it’s not empty! I blew kisses in it all day! I filled it with my love, all my love for you, Daddy!”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around her, said he was sorry, and begged for her forgiveness. For years, the man kept that gold box by his bed. Whenever he was down or depressed, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there for him.

I think that this is what Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel (John 14:15-21) when he says that he will ask the Father and he will give us the Holy Spirit, who will be with us always. In two weeks we will be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, the feast where the Holy Spirit comes down upon the Church after Jesus ascends into heaven. Next week we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. 

It seems to me that the Holy Spirit has always played Third Fiddle. We know that God the Father created this beautiful world. We know Jesus, the Son of God, was born in Bethlehem, worked miracles, taught parables, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead. But the Holy Spirit….What about the Holy Spirit? 

What really helps me to better understand the Holy Spirit is a different way of looking at the Trinity, not the old Triangle description. It has to do with kissing, something we love to do when we are young, and hopefully when we are not so young as well. 

God the Father is the Kisser, the one who gets Love rolling. God the Son is the One Who Is Kissed. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son.”  And the Holy Spirit….the Holy Spirit is the Kiss Itself! The Spirit of God’s Ongoing Love! 

We humans only think of the Kisser and the Kissee. God who is Love itself, SEALS LOVE WITH A KISS – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Kiss, stays with you your whole life. 

A priest one day approached a parishioner who always whizzed by him after mass and said:“Whenever I see you, you’re always in a hurry. Tell me, where are you running to all the time?”

The man replied: “I work hard. I’m running after success. I’m running after fulfillment. I’m running after the rewards of all my hard work.”

The priest then said: “That’s great if you think  all those blessings – your wife and kids, good health and especially God are all somewhere up ahead of you – and you’ve got to reach them. Maybe those blessings are BEHIND YOU. They may be looking for you! The more you run, the harder it will be for all those blessings to find you.” 

One of the things the coronavirus is trying to teach us  – YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP RUNNING TO SAVOR AND APPRECIATE ALL THE BLESSINGS THAT ARE BEHIND YOU, MOST ESPECIALLY IN YOUR FAMILY!!  

One thing we know for sure about God – GOD IS FAMILY, the FATHER, the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT. This is why you and I spend our lives, in this world and in the world to come, as family. Please don’t let all the blessings of your family be BEHIND YOU! SAVOR THEM TODAY….MAYBE WITH A KISS!!!

What blessings that are BEHIND YOU have you been savoring during this coronavirus pandemic?

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