Monday, June 11, 2012

Polar Energy

  Some times in one day in the missions opposite emotions and polar energy is needed to represent Christ to those in need.  This was the case on the last day of May.  I was at Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission where we about to celebrate Mass and then have first communion rehearsal when I receive a call.  The call was one of the worst tragedies people experience.  A small two year old child was run over in her own driveway and died.  The young parents are from Mexico and the driver was an American friend who came to pick up the father for work.  This dual pull between celebrating the joy of first communion with the seventeen children in Rutledge and supporting grieving parents over the loss of their little daughter was challenging.  Yet, it is here where God grants a priest the grace needed to be all things to all people as Paul invites us to be.
A reminder of our suffering even in the midst of joy

Both Friday and Saturday night we offered Rosaries late in the evening for the family of the small child.  They have no family here and their friends all work in the restaurant business.  The beauty in the midst of this tragedy was how the parishioners of both races came out to support them.  It truly gave support to the young couple.  Yet, their journey of healing as a long way to go.  Their daughter will be laid to rest in Mexico and the flight is scheduled this Wednesday.  Twelve days after the tragedy.  The family will return to Mexico as well.  As one Glenmary offered, "A year ago, who would have been here to help them?"

Yet, in recognizing that life may be short increased the preciousness of first communion.  Knowing that life is a gift and no amount is time, this celebration was filled with extra meaning.  One five year old was baptized, his sister and another were baptized and received their first communion. Along with these three were thirteen other children receiving Jesus for the first time in the Real Presence of His Body and Blood.

It is amazing that in less than one year that so many have returned to the Sacrament.  The children making their first communion range from ages 7 to 10.  This September we have another group of youth who will be confirmed and make their first communion as well.  These are amazing days and God is the one in charge.

As I head to Kenya for ten days, I wish to leave my faithful readers with pictures of joy.  May the smiles and warmth of these first communion pictures comfort you as you pray for the family that sufferers.  We truly are like Paul says, One Body of Christ.... When one person suffers we all suffer and when one person rejoices we all rejoice.

Be safe and tell the children they are precious and loved by God.