Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Reason to be a Priest

The following is an article I just read from a newsletter I receive. Very good stuff...
-The Archer

As I leave I tell them I will be there next
Sunday, same time, same place.
-Written by The Rev. Dr. William Gardiner

They await me each Sunday,
most are in wheelchairs, unable to
walk. many don't know who I
really am, not of my Anglican
faith, but they know that they will
hear the Word of God, words of
comfort because they know they
are in their last days. They no longer can
understand deep theological preachings, vagaries on
Biblical teachings. They only want to be assured that
there IS a heaven, an eternal life where pain and
suffering no longer exist, where old age and its
infirmities are erased and joy, peace, happiness prevail.
They want to know that faith and belief will
open the gates to this eternal life. They want to know
that the faith of their childhood will bring them to that
Kingdom promised them if they will hold fast to
Christian belief and practice. Their minds are dulled
along with their mobility. They struggle to deal with
their fate, being there in a facility that can care for them
in ways that their family cannot, or will not. They are
often confused, unsure of what life has become, but they
seem to know that I will be there each Sunday bringing
that reassurance which they so desperately need in their
final days.
Baptists, Methodists, Roman Catholics, it
matters not as they all take the cup and host from the
hands of an Anglican priest. What does matter is that I
am there when their own pastor is not. I am there to
reassure and to instill comfort. My sermons are simple,
easily understood for they have to be. I tell them that
God loves them and awaits them, that their faith and
belief are the golden tickets to glory. Some doze during
the service. I often have to awaken them to receive
communion. With some I have to deeply intincture the
host so they can swallow more easily, mouths dry from
old age. The service over, I strip the small table used as
an altar and remove the cassock, surplice and stole.
As I leave I tell them I will be there next
Sunday, same time, same place. I tell them that God
loves them and so do I. They smile and wave and I leave
them to go to the next service, another nursing home
where the scene is repeated, the words repeated, the
assurances repeated. These are the widows and orphans
of whom Jesus spoke. Orphaned by their friends and
families, by their churches, forgotten in many cases, but
not forgotten by God. I am His messenger, what a
privilege he has given me. To bring His word to those
who will soon be before Him in His heavenly kingdom.
Gloria in excelsis Deus!

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

I recently attended Mass with my invalid mother at the Catholic nursing facility where she resides. This post rings with the sounds of truth and love.

God bless all those that spread the message of hope!