Gratitude

Yesterday a visitor from Ames and I spent the day with Padre German.

We first went to Mass in Pasquingual where Padre German gave a forceful sermon. What I most remember was his remarks about the reading from the book of Daniel, chapter 5, about the banquet feast where the king used the gold and silver cups and plates of the temple.

Among many points, he suggested that to be eating off of gold and silver plates means that we have gotten all this by oppressing others, from stealing from others. I had never read that passage in that way, but it makes a lot of sense, especially here in Honduras.

After Mass we returned to the parish center where a meal was ready for us – but not on gold plates.

In the afternoon we headed for El Prado de la Cruz for a Mass, remembering a man from the community who had died a year ago. The Mass was delayed because of a community meeting and so we got back to Dulce Nombre late.

Before getting to the parish to pick up my car, Padre wanted to stop to visit an ill older man.

We found where he lived and went to the simple room where this 93 year old man lay on his cot. He was weak and a bit deaf but he was full of life and even joy. His daughter-in-law took care of him since he couldn’t get up and walk.

We stayed around as Padre German talked with him, amazed at his joy despite being confined to bed.

The family brought us coffee and sweat bread.

One of the sons came and his wife, the daughter-in-law explained how she cared for him. She even mentioned that her husband had recently had back surgery.

I could not help thinking about the years where I cared for my father when he was confined to bed for the last years of his life.

I was filled with a deep gratitude for this old man and those who cared for him.

As we drove back to the parish center to pick up my car, tears filled my eyes as I recalled my father and this old man.

They were not tears of sorrow but tears of gratitude – for the woman and her husband who cared for the old man, for the opportunity I had to care for Dad, for the life and deep joy of the man confined to his bed, and for the gift of playfulness that my Dad gave me.

For all this I am grateful – and today just happens to beThanksgiving.

JDand dad001

Dad and I

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