We have two nursing homes on a side street outside my neighborhood. I love to walk to them for the monthly Catholic Mass with the residents. It stirs me deeply to watch the amazing, selfless priest be Jesus to these people. To see the faith of these residents despite their grim surroundings. The grace is palpable.
This morning was no different.
Fourteen of us gathered around a large wooden table—most in wheelchairs. One woman with labored breathing. Another sleeping with her head drooped so low onto her chest. Two women chatting about when they would go home…while another one sadly stated, “This is my home now.”
But we all came to the table in faith, like the Apostles long ago. Connected by this love for Jesus and His Church.
Deacon D., a resident there himself, read the Gospel today. This man who had lived a life of service, now lives in a nursing home relying on the service of others. He read slowly, sometimes having to pause between a sentence or even a phrase.
But it was beautiful.
And as he read the words of Matthew, chapter 6, I was struck with how appropriate today’s reading applied to these dear people. The Father who sees what is hidden.
These hidden treasures. These faithful people.
They may never again be able to serve at a soup kitchen, sing in a choir, go on a mission trip, or even kneel down to pray.
But they still serve God in their own quiet, hidden way. By the world’s standards, they have nothing left to give. As Christians, we know it’s quite the opposite. Every single one of us, while we have breath, has something to give, something to offer.
And our Father sees in secret. Nothing is lost.
At the conclusion of the Mass, we sang all five verses of Amazing Grace. The feeble voices became strong with this beloved hymn—how sweet the sound. And this precious grace—this grace that transforms the little things we do into gifts for God…this grace that gives meaning to every moment of our lives because we know Him…
It is amazing.