Recently, while walking up to receive Communion, I found myself “in charge” of all three of my children. Usually, they are split up between my husband and I. He will take one, and I’ll have the other two or vice versa. But somehow, both older children were walking in front of me while I held our baby, with my husband behind me. It wasn’t a noticeable thing until we got up to the priest, and I was waiting for him to bless each child individually. I realized I had never witnessed all three of them being blessed in a row by a priest while the distribution of Communion was taking place.

I’ll preface by saying this particular priest takes his time when blessing children. I feel like we’ve seen all kinds of priest blessings during the distribution. You see the standard sign of the cross over the head with no words, or a “God Bless You”. We’ve also had a priest tap the top of their heads with the ciborium with no words. Once, we even had a priest “shoot” a blessing at each of them with his thumb and pointer finger pointing at them. But this priest makes the sign of the cross and intently says a little prayer over each of them. So while I waited patiently for Father to bless each of our children, I was, for lack of a better word, overcome with what I’ll call “emotion”.

Out of nowhere the thought of “Here they are, Lord.” entered my mind, and very simply consumed my being. There I was, walking up to receive Jesus myself, and, in a very real way,  presenting my children to Him at the same time. With their sweet little arms crossed, heads ever so slightly bowed, I realized, first, what a gift they were; a true gift from God at that. I love being their mommy, and while it’s often far from easy, it’s one of my favorite qualities about myself.

So walking up and thinking “Here they are, Lord,” I kind of surprised myself. It was 100% an involuntary thought, but it certainly caused me to pause. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “hustle and bustle” of motherhood. Add in trying to teach your children how to love God and that God loves them, and it’s enough to make you feel overwhelmed. But in that moment, the only thing that mattered was presenting our little family before God, acknowledging the gift He has given me in my children, and being grateful. Our children are not our own. We have been given a very serious job of raising them to know and love the Lord. That job is one we must not take for granted, and we must not let ourselves become lazy. What a gift that God has allowed us to care for one of His most precious possessions: His children!

As we come upon some of the most important days of our Church – the Triduum – I’d like to challenge you (and myself). How often are you allowing God into your family’s day-to-day life? Have you made room for Him to move? Have you acknowledged His presence in your home? Have you given your children back to God and allow Him to work in their lives? And last, but not least, have you allowed God to work in your own heart?