Dear Religious Family,
I want to share with you a short chronicle of an event that helps us to see God’s mercy for those most in need.
I remember reading in a book about the adventures of Father Segundo Llorente in Alaska, an analogy in which he compared the missionary to a chess piece.
The analogy is that the missionary is like the chess piece that God uses and moves when and how He likes and wants, to be able to win the game against the enemy, to effect the salvation of souls, because He wants all men to be saved.
Pope Saint John Paul II in the homily for the beatification of the two little shepherds of Fatima, Francisco and Jacinta, affirmed: “the ultimate goal of man is heaven, his true home where the Heavenly Father with His merciful love awaits everyone. God wants no one to get lost; For this reason, more than 2000 years ago, He sent His Son to earth, to seek and save what was lost (Lk 19,10).
This “merciful love that awaits all” is what, in a way, I experienced a few days ago. On Tuesday, September 22, someone called me early in the morning, asking if I could take Holy Communion to a sick person. We agreed that we would go in the afternoon. We also agreed that someone was going to come and pick me up at the church. Shortly after noon, someone came and picked me up, and we went in a boat 10 minutes up the river, not far from our parish in Charity. At this point, everything was very confusing, as we did not know where we were going, nor whom we were really going to visit. I asked the man who pick me up, but I did not understood his creoles. I than asked the person who was driving the boat, but she did not know either…
Finally, we arrived at the home where the sick person was. They introduced him to me, he was dying, lying in bed, with a dirty shirt covering his face. I asked if he would like to confess, to which he answered, yes; and his wife, listening my question, in the distance exclaimed, “Yes, yes Father, yes, what ever you want Father, he need to make it right with God!”
The sick man asked me to hear his confession, because he had not been going to confession from a long time, for many years. I heard his confession and gave him the Last Rites. At the moment of anointing his forehead him with the holy oil, I uncovered his face. There to my surprise, I saw a man who was not just dying of pain, but his face had a terrible infection. He had accidentally cut his face with metal and the wound was badly infected, to the point that I won’t describe here, but it was enough to make me realize that he was not going to survive much longer. I finished the anointing, gave him Holy Communion, the Apostolic Blessing and I stayed a moment with him.
When everything was finished, the wife exclaims again, “This man is lucky you know, eh, Father. He has been away from the Church and from God for so long, and God sends a priest to assist him now in his last days. God has mercy!”
Two days later, I was passing by and I decided to stop to see how the man was. They told me that he had passed away that morning around 4am, and the wife again exclaimed, “This man has been lucky, God had mercy on him, he sent a priest to assist him in his last hours.”
The missionary is like the chess piece that God uses, and moves as He wants and when He wants, to win the game against the devil, for the salvation of souls, and to communicate His mercy especially to those who most need it.
I take this opportunity to ask for prayers so that we can be faithful instruments of God’s mercy, here in Guyana, and for those who most need such infinite mercy.
Viva la mision!