"See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God." 1 JN 3:1

When I was little, I was attached to my mother at the hip. Every time she had to go away for work, I’d cry for hours until I fell asleep from exhaustion. Tears, tantrums, and screams filled the parting days. I was a terror to my grandmother who had to take care of me. I would complain her food was not as good as my mother’s. She was too big, and she blocked the single fan we had in the room. She made me pray the rosary with her before bed. I was so concerned about what I lacked that I failed to notice what I had.

My grandmother never scolded. Every time I complained, she’d smile, laugh, and tell me I was being silly. When I cried for my mother, she’d rub my back and sing to soothe my sorrows. She would cook my favorite dish at meal time and served it wherever I wanted to sit. I had everything I wanted. With grandma, I was spoiled, whereas my mother would’ve whipped me into shape. Still, I complained. I could not see how much she loved me because I was too engrossed in my emptiness.

My relationship with God is similar to that. I am often lost in the void of busyness. I used to complain about having to go to confession because who wants to sit there and be reminded of their sins? I felt guilty about lying to my mother. Wasn’t that enough? Did God need to know all of that? Shouldn’t he know already? I felt I was owed things because of how “rough” my life was. I get so wrapped up in what’s missing in life that I forget about the love God has given us.

Today’s reading reminds me of all those times I felt unloved and whined about confession. In all those instances, I was being a spoiled brat. I didn’t allow myself to accept the Father’s love and forgiving heart. Confessions were to my benefit. It was a way to clear my path of sins so that one day I can see Him in all His glorious way.

Do I allow myself to accept the love that God has bestowed upon me?

Kath Tran