Mary Kay Wood

What is a blessing? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I decided to look up the definition of the word. 1) It is the art of declaring, seeking or bestowing (esp. divine) favor (sought God’s blessing, mother gave them her blessing). 2) Grace said before or after a meal. 3) a gift of God, nature, etc. a thing one is glad of (what a blessing he brought it). Blessing in disguise, an apparent misfortune that eventuality has good results. Also means benediction, prayer, consecration, godsent, gift and good fortune.

I asked some of my friends what they thought a blessing was and one person said “seeing all of her family on Mother’s Day”. Another said “a blessing is a gift from God, sometimes solicited, sometimes because God knows we need it. It is not something that can be bought or sold. Rather, it is God’s pure love that is given when we most need it, when it is most unexpected and/or when we are most receptive”. My nephew said “a blessing is a kindness or gift from an individual”.

As I look back on the definition of a blessing some stories come to mind for me which I will share with you. A friend of mine told me years ago that her grandparents had seven children and that her grandmother made the sign of the cross on each one of her children as they left the house each morning asking God to bless them and keep them safe.

Back in the 1970’s we had a priest in our parish who blessed children when they came up to communion with their parents. The children were not yet old enough to receive communion themselves. My sister-in-law would bring her daughter Megan with her to church. Each morning Megan would receive a blessing from the priest who said a blessing, made the sign of the cross over her head and then briefly laid his hand on her head. This went on for some time. Megan was 2 ½ yrs. old when the priest died. Her mother brought her to church where Monsignor’s body was laid out and Megan went up to the casket, looked at his body and then she put her hand on her head and said to him head, head. Her mother said she was waiting for Monsignor to bless her as he had done so often.

God never leaves us, He is always with us and gifting us with what we need in this life. I believe that we are blessed many times during the day in the people we meet and our association with our family and friends. In my own circumstances when I go birdwatching and find the bird that is supposed to be in the area, I feel that it is a blessing to me to have seen it. Yes, it is true, I do pray that I will see many different birds when I have time for this activity. Another example of a blessing is when I have not been able to see a friend for some time and have the opportunity to spend time with them or when I receive an unexpected phone call from a friend. It is also a blessing to meet new people in our life’s journey. You never know that same person may be our friend for life.

In a week and half, most of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving. During that time perhaps we should stop and reflect on the many blessings God has given us. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

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