MERCY & FORGIVENESS:
Among the many things I like to do, is to visit those who are too ill, whether they are in the hospital, home-bound and or otherwise unable to attend Mass regularly. The gospel of Matthew, says “Sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” (Matt: 25-36).
At each one of my home visits, every person is able express how they feel emotionally, spiritually and physically. They are given the opportunity to speak freely without the fear of repercussion, from the church or myself. Before the blessings begin, we settle down by praying – giving thanks to our merciful God for all his many blessings and for my ability to distribute communion.
I believe that I am extremely blessed because there are quite a few of our parishioners who are unable to communicate with me fluently in English. Somehow, I find that with the help of God and the parishioner’s caretakers, communication is less laborious and I am able to bless not only the sick but their caretakers as well.
Among the half dozen or so of people I regularly visit is a fiery and strong willed woman. She is 102 years young. Yes, you read this correctly one hundred-two this past July.
As is my custom upon entry to the home, I would ask how the sick person is feeling (in one home there are two mother-in-laws). On my arrival to the 102-year-old woman, her grand-niece tells me that she is having a very difficult day. Nothing seemed to go right for her. The grand-niece reports that great-aunt had sent her breakfast back twice, because she wanted to wear a special robe and it was where she left it. Finally, she gives instructions to call the deacon immediately for she couldn’t see him after all today. Her mood was not good at all to say the least.
However, asking for forgiveness from her niece, for her behavior during the morning hours before I arrived, also praying and asking for God’s mercy, telling her niece that she too has forgiven herself after she had recited the penitential prayer, she is now ready to receive the BODY of CHRIST, because all is now well in the world for her.
Let us always remember that God’s mercy and forgiveness is ours for the asking.
Peace be with you.