No Ordinary Gift

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It was a spur of the moment decision.

I received an email from the USCCB selling a commemorative t-shirt of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States last September. Thinking my husband, Rich, would like it, I ordered one a couple of months before Christmas and requested that it be delivered to my office so he wouldn’t see it. Then I promptly forgot all about it.

When it finally arrived about a week before Christmas, I was surprised to see it. It took me a few minutes to remember why I had even ordered it and who it was for! (Talk about a “senior moment.”)

Rich and I usually just give “stocking stuffers” to each other. It’s a fun tradition and we try to get a bit creative. But this year, I had no idea what to give him. I was glad to have the shirt to give him but it didn’t seem all that special. Just an ordinary gift.

When he first saw the t-shirt, he was surprised at first. He had not even known that there was a shirt commemorating the papal visit. And then tears came to his eyes as he looked at it again.

I was so surprised to see the tears that my eyes welled up also. I knew he loved the Holy Father but didn’t realize just how deeply he felt that love. And I knew he enjoyed the television coverage of the papal visit but didn’t realize just how much it had touched his heart.

My husband’s love for Jesus and His Church runs deep. What had seemed like just an ordinary gift was not so ordinary. Seeing his reaction to the t-shirt reminded me that love cannot be taken for granted.

Not the love of Jesus and His Church. And not the love of the man that God sent to me.

Love is no ordinary gift.

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