Not too long ago I was at a nursing home celebrating Mass. Its a special grace to celebrate the sacraments with those who are so close to going home. In many ways, they have found that childlike faith which we are urged to have in life – this in addition to decades of experience and often a peace that comes with their great confidence in God. I love these visits.
After one such Mass I was approached by one of the regular attendees, a resident who was closely connected to one of my parishes before he had to move here to receive the attention & care he now needs. I knew what he was going to do – every time I come he presses twenty dollars into my hand ‘for the Church’ and apologizes for not being able to give more. On this occasion he didn’t head off afterwards as usual.
Looking me in the eye, he said ‘whenever I see you, I see Jesus – you look just like Him’. Tearing up, he patted me on the cheek and said ‘I love you, Lord’ – and then shuffled off.
I have no illusion that I am Christ, or that I do a convincing job of imitating Him. But that day a man saw Christ through me nonetheless. It reminds me that God uses imperfect tools to touch those He loves, and encourages me to never stop trying to do His will.