Last Sunday, I went to go visit two nursing homes. I’ve been on hiatus for the past few months knowing that I’d be busy and stressed out with other things, but now I’m back on rotation. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of my parish’s ministry to visit the sick and infirm in local nursing homes. Our primary purpose is to pray with Catholic nursing home residents and to bring them the Eucharist. Elderly, sick people often don’t have the opportunity to go to Mass so a good handful of volunteers at my parish rotate visiting different local nursing homes to bring them the Eucharist and to pray with them so that they’re not left out of the parish community and Church.
As an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion serving in this capacity, it’s my responsibility to safely carry the Eucharist from the church to the nursing home. I use a pyx, which is a small container for such purpose:
|Here’s mine, but they can look different|
My duty to minister the Eucharist to other people is extra-ordinary. Serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is extra-ordinary because ordinarily it is the ordained who should minister the Eucharist (ie. priests and deacons). Priests and deacons aren’t necessarily in abundance at all times to serve the needs of the faithful in this way, and that’s why it’s legit to use trained people, called Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, to minister the Eucharist. Sometimes that means non-ordained like me involves going to nursing homes with Jesus. 🙂
Last Sunday, I blogged about my frustration with seeing baby pictures all over Facebook. I had arrived at a very sickening point of jealousy and envy last week. Lots of interior healing needed. When I drove from my church to the first nursing home, I couldn’t help but be humbled by the fact that the God of all creation and the universe is in my pyx. In my pocket. In my Honda Civic. Whenever He’s with me like this, I totally have the radio turned off. I don’t think I should be distracted by Beyoncé’s musical stylings when God is with me in this way. After all, I shouldn’t be distracted at a time when I needed interior healing from dealing with my jealousy of seeing others’ baby pictures, and the Divine Doctor just so happened to be right next to my heart (yay dress shirt pockets!).
I arrived at the first nursing home probably a decent 10 minutes before my partner showed up. I couldn’t help but take that opportunity and spend that time with Jesus in the Eucharist on my dashboard (after removing Him from my pocket). I also spent that time begging for His help and mercy in order to have a sense of gratitude and humility to combat my jealous feelings. Very humbling experience. I don’t know that I am eloquent enough to capture the rawness of that.
So my partner arrives, and we do our thing visiting 7 residents between two nursing homes. It is such a privilege to be able to literally bring Jesus to these nursing home residents. They’re always so grateful, and oftentimes I can tell that they need Him. I mean, if I need Him to deal with my own set of problems, how much more is He needed for these residents in order to deal with their own sufferings? Regardless, my residents and I recognize our need for healing–our need for Him. And it totally blows my mind how He humbles Himself in the form and appearance of bread to allow Himself to be accessible in such a tangible way yet He is truly present: body, blood, soul, and divinity. Like, whoa. It makes having this “personal relationship with Jesus” that Christians oft speak of such a very real thing.
Unfortunately our resident lists for the two nursing homes we were assigned to visit has grown shorter in the months that I’ve been absent. Actually, my previous blog post about one of my residents who was so genuinely afraid to die, she passed away a few months ago. Let’s pray for the repose of the souls of those who are no longer with us.
Réquiem aetérnam dona eis, Domine, et lux pepetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.