A good bit after the homily, a little girl sent this up to the front of the church with the message that this was from her little sister, leaving me thinking just how tiny her little sister must be if she herself was so little and tiny herself. Just to be clear, the “I love you to[o]” message is not for me, but for Jesus.
You have to know that for twenty some years I’ve concluded pretty much every single homily with a reference to Jesus. I go in cycles that last for years. When I was in Rome and offering Mass at I think six different houses of the Missionaries of Charity, I was at the time concluding every homily with: “…because Jesus is so very good and so very kind,” so much so that the Superior nicknamed me “Father Goodness and Kindness,” even forgetting my name in favor of the nickname.
But right now, and for some years, I’ve been concluding my homilies with: “…because Jesus loves us so very much,” to the point where some in the pews will help me conclude. When they hear “Jesus loves us,” they continue with me: “…so very much.”
Of all the things I might say in a homily, I am so very happy that this is the one thing that gets through my clumsy delivery. The drawing above was this tiny little girl’s response to Jesus: “I love you to[o]!” Plenty of hearts and flowers and smiles for Jesus. And I’m just very happy with that altogether.