Back in March, I had just returned from Ecuador and I went to visit a residence for people with disabilities near my old home in Somerville. I used to visit the residents and the staff to bring Communion to them. This time, I had brought some chocolate paste for them to make from Ecuador, made in part by a group of disabled people there. Well, I ended up leaving the paste with one of the staff, Lucy, who is from Kenya.
After greeting everyone and looking around, I noticed that John, an older man with Down Syndrome who seemed to be fading the last time I visited, wasn’t in sight. “Where’s John?” “Ooohh, John passed away.” My heart sank down inside of me. “What happened?”
She said, she sensed that john was close to death. And all of a sudden, she realized that John is Catholic and that Catholics usually get last rites, through a priest. So, she takes it upon herself to call the hospice care who had been taking care of John, and the woman who is responsible for the pastoral case says that she can’t come. Lucy says, “I need someone right now. I need a priest.” So the woman gets in touch with a local Somerville priest, who finally comes and anoints John. On his way out, Lucy thanked him for coming.
A half an hour later, John died.
Jesus was able to reach him in a special way at the end of his life, because Lucy said a little yes to that intuition deep inside of her, that voice in her heart.
Now, Lucy isn’t a theology student. She doesn’t know much about the Bible, she can’t rattle off names of saints, or tell you about the catechism or the Trinity. She doesn’t have the liturgies memorized, or complete any course in preparation for marriage or first communion. You won’t see her at parish council meetings or parish fundraisers or socials, or even at Mass. But she was able to be a companion for God encountering and loving someone so special to Him, because, in that moment, she had what was most important, what is most valuable in our lives, most precious to God.
A yes to His voice. In her heart.
God relies on our little yes’s.
God wants us to be His companion in His amazing works of mercy and love, and when it all comes down to it, there is only one thing that matters.
Do we say yes? Do we have a little yes for His voice?
In our heart.
“Speak, God, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam 3:9)