On Tuesday this week I had the pleasure of visiting one of our assisted living facilities to have Mass with the residents and staff. After Mass, I also was able to celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick with many of the people who were present.  Such moments never fail to move me at a profound level.

A scripture passage from the Advent season kept coming to mind: Comfort, give comfort to my people.  This is exactly what Christ brings into the world – the abiding presence and comfort of our God.  I love these moments of being able to provide the sacraments to God’s people.  As much as it means to them, it is also a profound experience of the presence of Christ for the minister as well.

During these remaining days of Advent, may a part of our preparation for the celebration of Christmas be to look in on our neighbors – on those who may feel forgotten or lonely.  Such human acts of kindness truly do extend the compassion of Christ into the world, while at the same time expanding our own hearts for greater love.

Nearly everyone present, including the staff asked for a moment of prayer and blessing.  Once again, this speaks significantly of the deep desire in our hearts to ‘see the face of God’ and to experience his love and blessing.  These moments also say a great deal about the faith of our people who ask for specific blessings to be granted to them and or to their family and loved ones.

God bless all who care for the sick and elderly.

God bless each of you in these days of Advent and allow you to ‘see his face’, to know the power of God in the tender acts of charity and kindness.