In front of me at Mass this morning is Sister Ann. She remembered her Creator in her youth (Eccl 12:1), giving her entire life to God in her religious vocation. For fifty years she taught young women in Catholic high schools and led them to know, love, and serve God. Now retired, Sister wears a hearing aid. For her, "the sound of the mill is low" (Eccl 12:4). Beginning this spring, Sister can no longer stand up and kneel down with the congregation during Mass; she has to remain seated, for her "strong men (legs) are bent" (Eccl 12:3). Yet she never complains about her situation, and daily radiates the joy of the Lord to all she meets at Mass.
When we live the lifestyle of a disciple of Christ, we constantly work at dying to ourselves in Jesus (Lk 9:23), day by day, year by year. It becomes second nature to joyfully offer our body, life, soul, heart, mind, health, and our all to Jesus in every situation of life. "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor 4:10-11). Thus, when our bodily abilities decline in old age, we adjust to it readily, even with joy and gratitude, for it is second nature to abandon everything to Jesus. We rejoice to have even more to offer Him.
The opposite of old is not young, but new. As each year passes, instead of growing old in the Lord, grow new in Him (2 Pt 3:18).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014.