When I first starting coming back to God, I started going regularly to a church in Boston where the priest proclaimed the Gospel. After a few years, I saw an invitation in the bulletin. The priest was looking for people who could bring the Eucharist to patients in the local hospital. When I saw the invitation, I gave a little “yes”.
Well, about 12 people responded, and then we started the training. First we had a meeting with the priest to learn some things. Then we had a meeting at the hospital. Then we had to have medical tests done and wait a few weeks, and that a little chunk of money. Then we had to go back to the hospital and complete the registration for volunteers. Then, we had to go for volunteer training. By the time I went through it all, there were 2 of us left. The women stayed for about 6 months. I continued for 5 years.
On my second day in the hospital, I was visiting some patients when one of the nurses came to me and said, “you might want to come to this room. This woman has probably one hour to live.” So I went.
When I entered, there was a woman in a hospital bed breathing heavily, with a scared look on her face. A younger man was sitting at her side, holding her hand, crying. I felt the despair, the pain. Death was present.
So I quietly knocked and entered, and said a little greeting quietly with a few words, then I came with the Eucharist over to the side of the bed. I asked if the woman wanted communion. Her son said yes, and the woman seemed open to it. So I began.
When I got to the point of raising up the host, I said, “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…” And in that moment, everyone knew He was there. You could feel that now death was used for new life. It no longer had power. You could literally feel the despair and fear leave the room. Death was dead. I will never forget that experience.
It was my little yes to God. It was the nurse’s little yes. The son’s little yes, the mother’s little yes. God conquered death with our little yes’s to Him.
The disciples in the Gospel recognize Jesus because they have been a part of His doing great things. Because they said a little yes to His service.
God invites us to His service because He wants to do great things with us. He wants to lift people from darknesses and sufferings. He wants to toss death out of people’s lives. He only needs one thing.
Our little yes’s.
Then Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” (Lk 9:20)