Testimony House of Hope
Who is really the poor and the sick? Visits to the House of Hope in Simeri Crichi
In this pastoral year, as Apostolic Movement, we are participating in the visit of the sick, offering our service in the Accommodation House of Hope of Simeri Crichi (Cz) every second and fourth Thursday of the month. This is for us a positive opportunity for communion both with those in need and in physical and or spiritual suffering, and among us adherents. Moreover, in this group, coordinated by Fr Francesco Cristofaro, we, four lay consecrated persons of the secular Institute “Mary, Mother of the Redemption”, are also inserted. The idea is to show the face of concrete love, the one that does not use turns of words, but knows how to be close to the other, especially to the sick, to the ‘poor’ that is necessary for the church, given that precisely who is in need teaches us something, enriches us against any dominant logic in the current world where, on the contrary, those who are fragile are marginalized, trampled without mercy, considered an obstacle to be eliminated as soon as possible.
This is not the logic of Christ: He made himself poor to save us, he let himself be wounded for us, a sign of contradiction that reveals the futility of all wealth if it is not placed at the service of others, transformed into a work of mercy. Christ sees the other; he is attentive to man’s need. So we too must have these eyes of the Holy Spirit that, first of all, bring the living presence of the Word of God to the sick person. Of course, visiting the sick in a nursing home is a strong experience: it forces one to look deep inside, to make a profound examination of conscience, to look at Jesus Crucified, isolating what is really essential in life. Then you try to give a new dimension to your daily life, a new value to things, to people, offering a little of your time to bring a touch of joy and comfort to those who suffer or are alone. Every second and fourth Thursday of the month the elders of the House of Hope are waiting for us… They await a smile, a caress, a little company, a cheerful song, a Hail Mary recited together. Their smiles, their tender embraces are a powerful antidote against all sadness and so we realize that we are the sick, the needy! Together with these suffering people we feel closer to Jesus. Then, when it is time to leave, everything becomes sad: they ask when you are coming back or if you will return soon, they hug you as if they never wanted to leave you. And you take away with you these precious moments, together with a crumb of melancholy compensated immediately by the hope of having left in their hearts a trace of joy.
Just one of these thursdays spent together a granny moved me: we had just finished a roundabout with a guitar background, we were at the door, ready to leave, but it was raining. Many of them were next to us to accompany us. Granny gently advised us to put the hood on because it was cold … like a mother who makes the recommendation to her son because of her love for him. Behold: this is the proof that the Lord is merciful to us if we are with our brothers and transforms the simplest people into his instruments of love.
Therefore, let us thank Jesus for this experience that allows us to grow in love. Let us thank Mrs. Maria Marino who has always exhorted the whole Apostolic Movement to a great love for the suffering, the sick, the needy and the poor and let us entrust all the sick to the Redemption Mother so that she consoles and supports them.