We often hear that each of us is unique in the eyes of God or that when He creates us He breaks the mold. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta repeatedly would explain her care of the sick and dying by saying that in their final hours those for whom the street was their home, would receive a bath or a hug and so enter eternity. Recently I administered the Sacrament of the Sick to Patricia, who was in the care of Hospice. When you are surrounded by many things to do, or, as in the case of our First Communicants with family members visiting from out of town, it is hard to imagine folks who have no one that is a part of their life. They will die alone. Patricia did die later that evening, but not alone. She had been visited frequently by our ministers to the sick. There were also two ladies from hospice who saw to it that she was bathed and comfortable and who prayed with her, even though she was unaware in her comatose condition. We have to believe that while our daily life is splattered with VIPs, persons with parking privileges or rectors who are spoiled with afternoon espresso, our Heavenly Father sees no such distinctions as we exit this life and arrive at the Pearly Gates. There is perhaps a practical lesson to be learned. If there is no distinction of persons in heaven, how wise is it of me to make any such distinctions here on earth? While it clearly has no value unto eternity, I am reminded that the game of golf is played overall on grass and occasionally in the sand, rarely in the drink, which is why one man wears the green jacket and the other feels he is watching an instant replay as he goes fishing one more time.
God Bless, Fr. John