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Hospital

by davesandel on June 6th, 2021

Sunday, June 6, 2021                          (today’s lectionary)

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Hospital

Margaret is in the hospital today, has been since Friday night. She’s recovering from an infection and fluid in her lungs. Most of the last week she’s slept nearly every moment that she could. She’s better now, slowly getting back to the old normal, it looks like.

And Jesus said, Take and eat, this is my body.

On the wall near her room is a crucifix with a resurrecting Jesus, clad in sunlit robes, reaching to the sky. His hands and feet are no longer nailed to the cross, nailed to the ground, nailed to the earth. He is headed UP. No doubt that crucifix has witnessed births, healings, and deaths over many years.

And they also all drank from the cup. Jesus said, This is my blood, which will be shed for many. And I shall drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Austin’s Ascension Seton Northwest Hospital once thronged with Catholic nurses, many of them nuns from the Daughters of Charity, who dedicated their lives to the ideals of Elizabeth Ann Seton, a New York socialite who gave up the silver spoon early in her life and spent her life with the poor, with children, with invalids. Mother Seaton, alongside the nuns who followed in her footsteps and the nurses now caring for Margaret, are helping us, too, to “drink it new.” Jesus is alive!

The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanses our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.

I sit with Margaret in her room on the fourth floor and think of those who came before. We eat our lunch together, we eat our dinner together, but I can go home to take my naps, while Margaret is stuck there in her hospital bed. Both of us long to simply sit still in God’s presence, patient and grateful, sweetening the cup of the doctors and nurses and helpers who care for her.. Can’t we be, here, now, and be lovers, rather than just waiting impatiently for release and recovery? It’s difficult. But easier in the lee of that crucifix, shadowed by the resurrecting Christ.

I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord. How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?

After Margaret was invited to spend a few nights at the hospital, she received in the mail two copies of the Psalms in a new “Remedy” translation by Timothy Jennings, MD. When Andi came to see Mom, she read Psalm 23 to her from the new book.

The Lord is my friend, I have everything I need. He provides rest where I can gather strength.

… When I go through the dark times, when I feel like I am going to die, I will not give into fear or choose selfishness, for you are right there with me. Your rod of truth and staff of love, they comfort me. You provide a feast to nurture me in plain view of my enemies.

You cleanse my mind with the oil of your Spirit, and my cup of joy overflows.

This is the joy that the Lord has made. Let us hold fast, and be glad in it.

(Exodus 24, Psalm 116, Hebrews 9, Lauda Sion, John 6, Mark 14)  Lauda   Sion

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