“End stage,” he said. My heart sank; “Really? So, this is the beginning of the end.” The end of being greeted by his bright smile, the end of hearing his voice, the end of kissing him on the forehead. “We’re moving,” she said. My gut ached; “What? So, this is the beginning of the end.” The end of her saintly presence at morning Mass, the end of “surprise” St. Nicholas Day packages, the end of quiet words of wisdom. “End times,” they say. My head shakes: “So, this is the beginning of the end.” The end of the world, the end of this good earth, the end of life as we know it.
During the last month of my sixth pregnancy, I trudged up our stairs for bed—one slow step at a time—thinking, “I don’t know how I’ll be able to get up and going in the morning.” At the landing, I spoke a little prayer for strength and offered the day to God. Sure enough, after a night’s rest, I arose with enough energy to face another day. But this offering wasn’t the sacrificial offering of the great prophets or martyrs, rather my offering was the culmination of dozens of small sacrificial acts: changing a toddler’s diaper, cooking breakfast, packing lunches, serving dinner, helping with homework, reading stories, saying prayers—a handful of flour to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a little oil for a cake to deliver to a sick neighbor.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.