Monday, January 29, 2018

Touching Lives

“...he had his dwelling among the tombs.” Mark 5:3

Jesus met all sorts of people. Rich tax collectors, poor men and women in need of healing, powerful religious men, widows, children, fishermen, even the demon-possessed who lived amongst the dead. He met them where they were in their journey, and touched their lives, whether they liked it or not. 

Saint Damien of Molokai was a Catholic priest who chose to live among the lepers quarantined in the Hawaiian island of Molokai. He taught them the faith, helped them build roads, houses, a school, a hospital, cared for them, ate with them, and dug their graves. With his leadership they built the Parish Church of St. Philomena which still stands today. One day, 11 years after he arrived, he realized he contracted leprosy when he spilled hot water on his foot and could not feel anything. He continued to serve there faithfully till his death in 1889. 

The people of Molokai wanted Father Damien buried there for he was one of them. He touched their lives, and cared for them. But he was originally from Belgium and the Belgians wanted their hero back. In 1936, his body was transferred to Belgium. The people of Molokai continued to petition, and in 1995, his right hand was returned to Molokai for burial. We may not have Saint Damien’s heroic unselfishness, nor his strength to sacrifice his life for others, but we too should find a way to touch the lives of others, to be Jesus to them. 

As Mother Teresa said, “At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in’.” 

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy