Heaven, Hell, Judgement, and Purgatory.
That was the topic for last night’s High School Confirmation, Year One Session.
How often do you think about your own death?
I have been thinking about death a lot the past week and thought what a coincidence that our topic was on those four last things…or was it a God-incidence?
Someone very close to me is in the hospital and on the Monday after Easter we were told by a doctor that she wouldn’t make it through the night. I was blessed to have the week off so I could be at the hospital and sit with her.
Thelma is 95 years old. I remember seeing her at Mass every Sunday when I was young and was so in awe of how she looked during Mass. As she sang the Gloria, her head would be tilted up, a big smile as she sang, and her body would be swaying back and forth with the music. At the Sign Of Peace, she would take people’s hand with both of her hands and looking them in the eyes with such sincerity say, “Peace be with you.”
In my 20’s I would spend lots of time at Thelma’s home. She was a Eucharistic Minister to the homebound and would take me with her sometimes on her Tuesday visits. She took time with each person, listening to how they and their families were doing first, then reading the Sunday Gospel to them, and praying with them. Then she would so reverently take out the Eucharist and give it to them with her loving smile.
How the disciples describe feeling at one point in this coming Sunday’s Gospel reading is how I felt on those Tuesday Eucharistic Ministry to the Homebound visits with Thelma.
Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
There are people that when they speak about Jesus and pray with us, our hearts can burn within us from His love. We can literally feel His presence through them.
Thelma is one of those people.
Over the years she has called me her youngest daughter and I hope I can be like her.
When have you felt your heart burn with Jesus’ love for you?