Tuesday 14 August 2018

b_300_300_16777215_00_images_stories_Csaba_levelek_Vegyes_IMG_4524.JPGFather Csaba’s reflection on the gospel Tuesday 14 August 2018  The feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe
"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “ Matthew 18,1
I am sitting in a reformed church and tears are pouring from my eyes . There is a strange feeling in my heart . As a Franciscan friar , I am trying to grow up to a new role . One of our daughters made me into the “father of the bride “! This story started over 15 years ago . An elderly Székely woman called me to Székelyudvarhely, she was raising two grandchildren , at that stage neither of them attended school yet .Her daughter gave birth to two children as a single mother , quickly one after the other , then went into the big wide world where they lost track of her.The grandmother tried to be be mother to them as well, but unfortunately her husband had a serious accident and for this reason she asked my crying , to take in the granddaughters, in the name of God so she could take care of her husband . I kissed the top of the head of each bewildered girls, then taking them by the hand we left for the big world outside. The years passed , the girls grew up and left the nest from our home in Szováta . A couple of months ago the elder girl looked me up and told me that someone proposed to her and she said yes, and she also asked me to attend  her wedding, in Udvarhely in a reformed church . Last Saturday I went as asked and I looked for the minister , and it was there and then that I found out that I was called really not to marry them . I got the role of the father of the bride. I went outside the church where my beautiful grown-up daughter blushing took my arm and we were already on the way towards  the Lord’s table , where a lanky young man was standing from one leg to another . On the way I asked my daughter : Do you know this young man ? With her eyes widely open she whispered to me : “ Of course he is my fiancé .”I also asked her whether is he a nice young man, is he not bullying you ? Upon this Edina blushed even more , and all she said was :”No, I love him very much .” By then we already arrived at the Lord’s table . I looked at the young man and asked him that what was he doing there ? Without a second thought he answered quick as a flash , that he would like to marry Edina . I asked him, do you love her ? The answer came straight away : “ Oh of course I love her very much . “ I took Edina’s hand off my arm and placed it into the hand of the young man with the beaming face, then take care of her “- I said .
Then I went to my seat in the church, allocated to the father of the bride , and the ceremony of marriage started , according to the old traditions of the reformed church . It was good to be sitting there in the pew , taking delight in the young couple squeezing each others hand! I was thinking to myself, that no matter how full my heart is with love towards our dear children and my beloved colleagues I still somehow have to find room in my heart to  squeeze this young man in as well so I can grow up to the role of being a father-in-law as well.
I can say that it is great to say yes to life , it is wonderful to take hold of a child’s hand and with  a heart trusting in God to set out in the big wide world . Every single child is a big adventure , a sweet burden and I encourage everybody that do not leave out children of your life for whatever the world can offer . Accept them either as I did it- or as a parent their  own flesh and blood - the sweet burden of fatherhood , motherhood since your children can make you into fathers and mothers of the bride or bridegroom , beloved grandfathers or grandmothers , your lives will really become a blessing in them, through them !
With love ,
Father Csaba 
translated by dr k.e.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 'Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14