I was visiting a hospice patient, Joseph, yesterday and he kept saying, “You gotta have something for the basket.” This phrase has been stuck in my head. he said it with such conviction. He is not in the best of shape and is not always coherent when he speaks but, when we visit and he starts talking about God, he comes across with such a simple faith, childlike really. My children, especially when they were young, spoke with great conviction and passion. In their minds absolute truth existed and they had no fear in speaking about it. I think this is what Jesus probably meant when he said we must be childlike if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Anyway, as I thought about his words, I recalled how sometimes I go to mass without anything to put into the basket. I sometimes attend mass but I am not really there mentally. I suppose that is is good that I am there but doesn’t God deserve a little more than that? Shouldn’t I at least be present before my Lord and King? Give him my attention.I may not always have money for the basket but I think it is more than that. I should always be ready to give something back to the Lord for what He has done for me. Ready with a kind word for others, Ready with food for the hungry. Ready with my heart to worship Him.
I think of the basket as this world that God has created. Everything we do in our lives make deposits in the basket. When we go to mass, we should always strive to be totally present, to place ourselves in the presence of the Paschal Mystery. To give our lives to him. To see Jesus in everyone we encounter. To offer our first fruits and not just our leftovers.
Joseph thank you for your gentle reminder that I gotta have something for the basket. Lord, I pray for your graces that I may be fully present at mass each and every time.