October 8th

October 8th

     We are often told to “Count our Blessings.” It is important for us to take an inventory of the “goods” we have received from God or others. This action helps us to live out of gratitude. While it is a consolation to receive a blessing, it is even more powerful to bless someone or something. Praying for God’s blessing on another is like stepping into a holy mystery. Imagine, our God gives us the ability to send His goodness to another. 
     Blessings began when the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.’ In this way they will put My name on the Israelites and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:22-27). 
     After this initial blessing, the tradition of blessing people began to develop. In Mark 10:14b16, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them. 
     After His resurrection, our Lord’s departing gift to the Apostles was a blessing. “When He had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. As He blessed them, He departed from them and was taken up to heaven” (Luke 24:50-51). 
     When we repeat our Lord’s habit of blessing, we call down God’s Life upon others and our world. Blessing is not an action reserved for priests and religious; it is for all of God’s people. Blessing, unfortunately, is also the neglected power of the people of God. Our world would be a better place if blessings came from the mouths of Christians instead of curses. 
     As we feel disturbed by the anger and unrest that sweeps over our world. Let us not increase the disorder by cursing and complaining. Instead, let us call down the power of God and bless each other, the children and our world.  Those are the blessings to be counted.