A few days before Christmas, I met up with my friend Jack for the first time in a long time. We had a great lunch together and talked for an hour or so, catching up on a lot of stuff.
So, Jack began telling me about his new hobby: he’s coaching basketball now. “I always played pick up before, but I never actually really knew the rules and nuances of the game. It’s been real fun learning the game and coaching the kids.” Now, I was the guy in our crowd who played basketball – Jack played football and hockey. What made him take up coaching a sport he never really was serious about before? “Well, my daughter Kelly is playing on the team and they needed a coach.”
After we were finishing up and going our ways, he asked if I had plans for Christmas. I told him I didn’t have fixed plans yet for the whole day. “Why don’t you come by for dinner?” Sounds good.
So on Christmas, I had the gift of having Christmas dinner at his house with his whole family. I got to catch up with his whole family for the first time in a long time. It was great to just be with them.
Well during the Christmas meal, there I was, sitting next to his wife Kathy, and all of a sudden, she turns to me amidst all the activity and says, “Jerome, Jack is the best Dad in the world. Everything that Kelly does, he gets involved in. He reads up on things, whatever it takes to be involved in whatever she does. And she loves him so much. One time, a coach saw her playing and asked her, ‘Who taught you to do that?’ and right away, she said, ‘My Dad!’ You know, other people have helped her in sports, but she gives all the credit to her father.”
What makes the Blessed Virgin Mary so full of love and peace and joy? Why is she full of grace?
It’s because her Father is involved in everything she’s doing, guiding her, raising her up. He is always with her.
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” (Lk 1:28)
If we let God be involved in everything we’re doing, letting Him guide us and raise us up, if we let Him always be with us, then we’ll share in Mary’s life. We’ll have the best Father in the world.
And we’ll be full of grace.