Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go."
(see John 21:18)
Whenever I read these words of Jesus from today's gospel, I always think of older people in nursing homes. They must follow the routine, go where they're supposed to go, do what they're told. To lose autonomy and independence is hard, even when it's necessary for personal care.
Perhaps someone in a nursing home would appreciate a visit from you. Or, do you know someone who is home-bound? A relative or a friend? Why not set aside some time and make the effort to visit that person? It can break their monotony to see a friendly face. Maybe you could bring a special food or get them outside for some fresh air, take them for a walk or wheelchair ride if they are able.
And if you don't know anyone, call a nursing home near you, explain that you would like to visit, and ask what person they suggest who might appreciate a visit. Set up a time, and then go.
help me to cheer up someone who's elderly and sick.
Give me the grace to visit that person soon
and bring a breath of fresh air into their life.
For when I visit a sick person, Lord,
I visit You. Amen!
Father Ed Bakker ,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania