On August 3rd at 9:15 p.m. my family and I received a wonderful gift from God. Isabella Lucia Faria was born into the world weighing 7 lbs 11 ounces and 20 inches long. Isabella Lucia is my first niece and I instantly became a proud uncle for the first time especially after I saw her beautiful picture as it was sent to my cell the evening that she was born. I would have never imagined that this little precious gift from God would make such an impact on my life. Of course I couldn’t wait to see this beautiful child in person, so the following day I had to make the trip to Fall River, Ma. and see for myself the beauty that I saw in that picture.
As I entered the hospital room and saw Isabella in my sister’s arms my heart was overflowed with joy. I could hardly wait to pick her up and hold her in my arms. As I sat in the chair and little Isabella Lucia was brought to me; I instantly looked at her beautiful head which was covered with an abundance of hair, her cute little nose, her upper lip as it was pointed up to the heavens, the little chubby cheeks that I couldn’t resist in laying my fingers against, that I was reminded how our God is an awesome God. Here I was sitting in a hospital room just looking at this child and through this child God reminded me how much he loves me. How much he cares for us and the complete trust that he puts in us as he gives us his beautiful creation.
Pope John Paul II in his 1985 encyclical “Dominum et Vivificantem” in paragraph ten states, “At the same time, the Holy Spirit, being consubstantial with the Father and the Son in divinity, is love and uncreated gift from which derives as from its source (fons vivus) all giving of gifts vis-a-vis creatures (created gift): the gift of existence to all things through creation; the gift of grace to human beings through the whole economy of salvation. As the Apostle Paul writes: "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
How true that statement is in my life on how God’s love that is always present and how it is made present through creation such as through the little child that I call my niece and how this gift has made God ever present.
This brings to mind on how many times I have ignored the gifts that God provides to me each and every day. It could be the good health that I have, the roof that is over my head, the wonderful family and friends that are in my life who give me so much love and support. I should even be thankful for the challenges that come my way. Even though it’s not easy to ever be given challenges I know in the end I do grow from the experience.
My dear brothers and sisters, if we haven’t truly acknowledged the gifts that God has given you, now is the time to really reflect and appreciate the things and situations that have been given to us out of love. I like to end this Friar’s Corner with the refrain from the song Awesome God, “Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love, Our God is an awesome God.”