Today I went to Buena Vista Concepción for a Celebration of the Word with Communion. This is the first time I visited this aldea and so, if I hadn’t had a friend with me, I’d have landed somewhere up in the middle of nowhere.
As I preached on the Gospel of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, I mentioned how Mary carried Jesus in her womb to her cousin and the child, John the Baptist, in Elizabeth’s womb.
All of a sudden I realized that I had been bearing Jesus to these people, bearing Jesus in the Eucharist. This became even clearer to me when I returned to Plan Grande and visited a gravely ill eighty-one-year-old woman. The woman was barely conscious, but opened her eyes as I prayed. I had a consecrated host with me, since I went directly to the house of Doña Raimunda. I didn’t give her communion but still, in some sense, I bore Jesus with me.
This is the mystery of bringing Communion to the sick or to distant communities. We are following in the footsteps of Mary who brought Jesus to her cousin.
Even if we don’t bring Communion to the sick or to distant communities, all of us can bear Jesus to others as Mary did – coming to serve her cousin, a person in need.
Yesterday after going to two meetings of the councils of zones in the parish, I stopped by the home of a young woman in her early twenties who is confined to her bed.
When Rufina made her first communion last month, I promised to bring her a rosary. I brought the rosary as well as Communion.
When I arrived at the house, there was a large crowd by the door. I approached cautiously because I wondered if something was wrong or even if the young woman had gotten worse. But as I approached, smiles and handshakes ensued and they escorted me to her bedside.
We talked a while and I gave her the rosary and she thanked me profusely. She also had someone get a little stool so that I could sit beside her.
I offered to share Communion with her and she responded with enthusiasm. The local communion minister had come on Thursday and shared Communion, but this daughter of God was so happy to have the opportunity again.
We prayed – but not alone. Her mother, several brothers and sisters, and a few nephews and nieces (including a five month old) shared in the prayer. One teenage boy noted that it is very good and important to pray. I was impressed.
After Communion, we prayed and I blessed her. Her mother invited me to come back any time. I promised to send a sheet with the mysteries of the Rosary so that Rufina and the family could them together.
I left consoled.
“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest….
I am meek and humble of heart.”
Matthew 11: 28-29