Saturday, May 10, 2008

Seeing the Unseen

The homily for today's noon Mass touched upon the idea of seeing the beauty in what popular culture would say is the opposite of beautiful. Blessed Damien found the beauty of Christ within the lepers of Molokai. Although the leprosy had purchased portions of the very countenance of each, it could not procure the essence of the individual; the disease was incapable of taking the spark of the divine that is the gift given to humanity by our Heavenly Father.

A missionary priest from Belgium, Blessed Damien tirelessly cared for the for the outcasts of Molokai for 16 years. He ministered to them, quite literally, body and soul. This saintly man did as the needs of the people dictated; whether the need be cleaning and dressing wounds, building housing and laying water pipelines, or saying Masses and burying the dead, he did as the situation required. For most of his time on the island, he was without assistants. His love for the unlovable, for God's people, was deep and complete. Blessed Damien himself died of leprosy which he contracted on Molokai.

As Fr. Jack noted, "Clearly, the gospel of life turns life upside down at times."

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