When my dad fell, we called an ambulance and the paramedics took him away on a stretcher. The same day, the Gospel told the story of the paralyzed man whose friends sought help from Jesus: "And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence" (Luke 5:18).
My dad was taken to Saint Mary's Hospital where, praise God, we discovered he had no broken bones, but was still in great pain. A man wearing a collar passed by the emergency triage room. I followed him to the nurse's station.
"Are you a priest?" I asked.
"No, I am Reverend Ralph. Can I help you?” he offered, concerned. “I can stop by and pay a visit.”
“We're Catholic, and I was hoping a priest could bring my dad Holy Communion," I explained. We can seek help from the Lord on someone else's behalf. In fact, wasn't it their faith Christ commended? "When he saw their faith, he said, 'As for you, your sins are forgiven'" (Luke 5: 20).
“Well…I used to be Catholic,” replied the reverend, a bit sheepishly. “Then I got bit by the love bug.”
“But,” I replied, puzzled, “you can be Catholic and in love!"
The reverend only smiled. He said Father Loy would be at the hospital tomorrow morning and would surely visit my father.
Father Loy is originally from the Phillipines, and with characteristic energy and enthusiasm, stopped by my dad's room at our request. It turned out, this was his second visit. Early that morning, before we had even come to the hospital, he had stopped by and had gotten to know my dad. But now he read the Gospel and together we prayed the Our Father. Then he gave my dad communion and blessed him with holy oil.
"And now," Father’s eyes twinkled gleefully, "what we have is another satisfied customer!" We all laughed and, pleased with our response, Father quizzed us.
"Did you hear about the guy with crossed eyes? He gets to see God twice!” Hahahahah! Father Loy bellowed. "That's a good one! Sees God twice!" We laughed and were comforted by the priest’s merry presence.
“He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God” (Luke 5:25).
My dad felt much better after Father Loy’s visit.