Thứ Bảy, 30 tháng 6, 2012

Daily reflection _ saturday week 12 ordinary time

In today's Gospel acclamation we proclaim, "Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases" (Mt. 8:17). It is worth meditating on the fact that when our heavenly Father became incarnate in Jesus Christ His Son, it was not to remove all human suffering but rather to share in it. The Gospels are full of stories of Jesus healing people and even raising some from the dead. There are many stories of Jesus comforting and enlivening people with His words of salvation. He did indeed come that we might have life. He "took away our infirmities and bore our diseases!"
I am a hospice chaplain who spends time with many special people in their final chapter of life as we know it. As I reflect on the Scriptures and the Eucharist today, one person comes to mind whom I would like to share with you and all who read these reflections each day. This person has shown me how the loving Presence of Christ is with us on our journey.
Penny, at forty-five years old, was married with six children and had a brain tumor. I only knew her for a very short time. At my first visit, she was unconscious. I laid hands on her and prayed with the family. Two days later her husband called me to come right away, as Penny was awake! I went, and brought the Eucharist with me.
When I arrived, Penny was in her hospital bed in the living room, awake and with her family all around. She was unable to talk because of the pressure of the tumor on her brain. I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her, and if she'd like to make a profession of her Catholic Faith. I told her that if the answer was "yes" to blink her eyes once, and she did. When she needed to respond to the questions with "I do" she blinked once. Then I asked her if she would like to receive the Eucharist, and again she blinked once. I broke a small piece of Jesus' Body and gave It to her. Her eyes began to swell and fill with tears. Her face glowed with Jesus' loving Presence. One hour later she died.
Our destination is not death but life. We are called to imitate Jesus by doing everything we can to alleviate the sufferings of others. At the same time, we are called to encourage one another with the hope that Jesus will fill us with unending life. Our sharing in the Eucharist is the pledge that confirms our hope and love in God.
As I always say, "We are not meant to do this alone!"

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