Make a difference through service

by Fr. Jeff

My pace on the way out was much slower. I had rushed down the long hallway coming into the hospital but now I was taking my time. I focused on each step. I looked at each poster on the wall. I stopped to read one of them:

Making a difference through service.

My mind replayed the trip to the PICU.

These types of visits are the hardest. Adam is 3-months-old, and the doctors aren’t sure how much time is left.

Adam, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The sweet fragrance of chrism filled the room, a powerful sign of sanctifying grace. We prayed and talked of God’s goodness, love, and hope.

One of the nurses heard me sigh after leaving the room.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “Our strength and our hope is in God’s love and care for us. And I know it’s what helps you serve in one of the most difficult units of the hospital.”

“Yes,” she said. “Here and the NICU. But it’s why we pray.”

Understanding the suffering of the innocent is impossible. Helping infants prepare for eternal life doesn’t feel much easier. These aren’t the moments I look forward to as a priest.

Walking down the hallway on my way out, everyone’s question was on my mind, too.

Why?

The poster reminded me.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. -Mark 10:45

You were innocent. You suffered. Your service through suffering is the ransom that makes eternal life possible–

for the first Adam and for this Adam.

Teach me to trust You. Teach me to suffer with You. Help me to

Make a difference through service.