The Eucharist is to be celebrated, adored, and lived.
This week I took part in the retreat for the clergy of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán. I am not yet a member of the clergy but took part as a candidate fort eh permanent diaconate.
Each day began with Mass at 7:00 am, with conferences by the retreat preacher, Father Antonio Rivero, LC. At 4:30 each day we had exposition and adoration of the Eucharist until dinner at 6:00 pm.
Father Antonio spoke of this as a day that began with the Eucharist celebrated and that ended (expect for dinner and night prayer) with the Eucharist adored.
Padre German and I didn’t stay at the retreat center outside of Santa Rosa de Copán because there were not enough rooms for all the priests. So at night we returned to Dulce Nombre where I slept the first three nights.
One night Padre German went to visit Ernesto, an old man who is dying. I had accompanied him a few weeks ago.
We stood around Ernesto’s bed with a son and a daughter-in-law. Another son and daughter-in-law arrived a bit later.
Ernesto was generally unresponsive, though they told us that he had been responsive the day before. He also was not eating.
After a few prayers, Padre administered the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Then we prayed some more and left.
This was the Eucharist lived. Although Ernesto could not receive the Eucharist, here Christ was present.
This experience at Ernesto’s bedside reminded me of my experience with my father, caring for him as he was dying. I also marveled at the care the family was giving him.
I was also reminded that in this year of mercy we are called to practice more fervently the works of mercy, including visiting the sick.
I also found myself challenged. If I am to be ordained a deacon, I need to be present more to the sick and dying, for Christ is present there as well as on the altar.
And so the challenge is to live the Eucharist which we celebrate and adore – living the presence of Christ in the church and in the marginal spaces of this world
Ernesto died a day or two ago. May he rest in peace in God’s loving presence.