Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Giving Eucharist to the Needy" A Meditation by Sr. Anne Brooks, D.O.

Our focus tonite is to explore the relationship of St Elizabeth and the poor, and what it means to bring bread to the poor.


And I would just warn you , that the medical students I have in our office warn others -


She is a woman of a thousand questions!

Let's start by relaxing, getting into our minds and


IMAGE "the poor" what do they look like?


city / live / get food Delta / live / get food


They are shiftless, mentally ill, alcoholics - we're afraid of them-we won't waste our $ money on them.


BUT WE KNOW --


THE POOR ARE NOT LIKE US!

* THEY ARE "OUT THERE"


* WE TEND TO AVOID THEM


* WE DON'T WANT OUR KIDS


TO PLAY WITH THEIR KIDS

I CHALLENGE YOU NOW TO CHANGE


THE WORD POOR TO NEEDY


________________________________


AHA...


DO WE KNOW ANYONE WHO IS NEEDY??


SUDDENLY, THE NEEDY


ARE NO LONGER "OUT THERE"

We might not think of them as poor but for sure they are because that's what someone is, who is poor --they are needy.

HOW ABOUT the hyperactive kid in my classroom?

the waitress in my favorite restaurant ?


the elder who talks on and on ?


the guy who fixes my car ?


the lady in line at the Care Station ?


great aunt Susie who has lost her brain ?


Are these folks needy?

(AND YOU CAN ADD TO THIS LIST)

What does each one need?


How can I show them I care?


THAT'S HOW I GIVE THEM EUCHARIST

As you know from reading the Gospels, Jesus was all over the place, in sometimes unbelievable situations that needed correcting.


Let's walk with Jesus this evening and look --


and consider-


in regard to the poor and needy,


Is there a social justice issue here?
An injustice because of the "system"?


Because we've always done it this way? for example,
.. there may not be tutoring help available for the kid in school who takes longer to learn, because the state doesn't fund it (why not?)


and could I volunteer to tutor??


Is that how I can bring Eucharist?
...the hourly wage of a waitress is often way below minimum wage because they are expected to get tips.


(so how much do I tip?)


Is that how I can bring Eucharist?


 ...There is a constant need for affordable housing - so could I volunteer with Habitat?


Is that how I can bring Eucharist?
ALSO Lets look at


MEMBERS OF OUR OWN FAMILIES

IF WE LOOK CLOSELY AND CAREFULLY


WE CAN IDENTIFY WHO IS NEEDY -
Who in our family needs someone to care about them?
Let's go inside our family members' hearts and minds...

Who in our family may


feel unloved


OR


feel ignored


OR


who is the one who I yelled at last night (Did I make up?)


OR


perhaps our family a fractured family with many needs . . .


OR


AM I A NEEDY PERSON IN MY OWN FAMILY ?


Am I the one who feels unloved?


then maybe we need to be brave enough to talk about it!






Am I the one who feels rejected?


then maybe we need to be brave enough to talk about it!






Am I the one who always picks up the mess in the house?


when no one else bothers?


then maybe we need to be brave enough to talk about it!














Think now about the needy around us, OUR needy. the ones in our neighborhood or workplace,


the ones in our town or area:


To help you picture them, come in your mind with me


on a quick visit to the Tutwiler Clinic in the past couple of weeks.






As an introduction,


(You may not be aware that 69% of those coming to our office have no insurance, no way of paying for their care.


Our ability to cover their care and still pay our staff comes from donations of people who are aware of the situation and give us Eucharist -


they send funds that allow us to be their heart, and their hands, and their voices


to give CARE-- to give Eucharist --


They help our patients experience the presence of God in their lives)






So come with me - here, I'll hold the door ---






So here is a lady who the staff didn't put in a treatment room, but in my ofc. She has on her Sunday outfit today. She came to bring me Eucharist - she is now in treatment for breast cancer and came to give me a thank-you hug for pushing her to get a mammogram in spite of her fright - and I was filled with the presence of God.


~~~~~~~~~~


Here is a new patient, a 20 yr old girl who has a deformed ring finger that's only an inch long, and there are only 2 big toes on her left foot -- She has no income, and is applying for disability. "I'm not going to get pregnant just so I can get on Medicaid," Her real problem? keratoconus -- her cornea is cone-shaped. She is legally blind. We did her physical,


gave her Eucharist by showing her how much we cared.


~~~~~~~~~


Here is a 37 year old guy who repairs cars. I found him sitting on the treatment table in tears. What he needed was a long hug,


so I gave him Eucharist -


He loved his stepfather who had died; I listened, and he told me how much he appreciated my prayer visits to ICU


And he gave me Eucharist


~~~~~~~~~~


Here is a 47 yr old man, here to help with the cotton harvest He had shortness of breath, ankle swelling. We did a chest XR, it showed that his heart was 2 1/2 times normal size. We used some donation money, got an echocardiogram at the hospital - it showed his heart was pumping only 8% of the blood in his heart. It was working as well as a wet paper towel. I did an emergency hospital admission, cared for him in the hosp, used more donations and paid for all 8 of his new discharge meds -


and gave him Eucharist.


He said to me, "What if you hadn't been here?"


And he gave me Eucharist.
~~~~~~~~~


Here is a tall skinny guy with a cough...he feels too sick to work, so he has no income. Our chest XR showed pneumonia. He comes every day for IV antibiotics and for breathing treatments. He comes for care


And we give him Eucharist.


- and when he says he is feeling better now


he gives us Eucharist


~~~~~~~~~~


Now it's the end of the day, I'm sealing all the charts on the computer. While the computer gathers all the data, there's a little pause before the correct screen comes up. So I pray for that patient while I wait,
sending them Eucharist

Consider this:
We, baptized members of the Catholic Church,


are, all of us, the Body of Christ


And as members of that Body,


when we receive Holy Communion Jesus is within us.


It's like we should have a sanctuary lamp in front of us!


we speak Christ's words to others


we pray with our Abba, our Father


we use the actions of Jesus as a guide to our behavior


when we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit


So really, when we communicate with others,


when we do something for someone else,


WHEN WE SHOW WE CARE


we put them in contact with Jesus -


which is bringing them Eucharist.

I CHALLENGE YOU!

Find someone needy - care about them


care for them


WHAT KIND OF NOURISHMENT


DO THEY NEED?

Is it perhaps a hug?


A gift of our time?


the gift of listening to them?


of sitting with grandma so the sitter can have a break?


Is it a ride to the store or to that person's church?


Can we keep their kids for a couple of hours?

What do they really need that I can help with?


And I close with a prayer~


O God, place me where You want me to be


Challenge me to be aware of injustices.


Help me to right wrongs I see


Teach me to care,


and flood my heart and my soul with Your Divine Presence


that I may carry You to everyone who needs You. amen.

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