Earlier this week I had the pleasure of covering the diocesan Chrism Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The cathedral is always full for this Mass, and people travel from all corners of the diocese and through all kinds of weather to participate.
During his homily Bishop Clark asked us all to pray for the fragile in our communities, and as I went forward to receive Communion I watched several older people who at first appeared frail. They moved down the aisles very slowly with the assistance of canes, walkers and younger people, and for a moment I wondered why they’d ventured out on such a cool and rainy night, when it would have been much easier to stay in their warm, dry homes.
Then I noticed none of these people showed even the slightest hint of unhappiness. On the contrary, they all looked peaceful, and even joyful. And the people helping them in and out of their seats didn’t appear put out; rather, their faces showed the love and concern they had for their elders.
As I watched these people return to their seats and bow their heads in prayer, I realized they all were motivated by the same things: faith and love. Faith in God and love for him and for their faith made those elderly people strong and gave them the desire, and perhaps even the need, to be a part of the Chrism Mass. Their bodies may have been weak, but their hearts and spirits were strong and robust.
In a similar way, faith and love inspired the younger people to take part in the Mass, and to lovingly care for their brothers and sisters in the faith. I’m thankful to both groups for opening my eyes and providing a wonderful witness for us all.