Mass Readings: Jeremiah 18:1-6/ Matthew 13:47-53

Last Words

Jesuit Father Francis J. Smith was an Oxford scholar, a poet, a university professor, and a dear and loyal friend. On his 90th birthday, a of his friend hosted a dinner. Before the meal, Father Smith celebrated Mass. His homily was about the Ignatian quality of gratitude. His reflection moved the guests to tears as this feeble man, who had lost his eyesight to macular degeneration, talked about the simple and necessary gift of being ever grateful.

Two years later, in 2012, as he lay on his deathbed, Father Smith could no longer talk. Bedridden for days, he stared straight ahead. An hour before his death, as fellow Jesuits and nurses gathered around him, he suddenly lifted his right arm into the air, as if to embrace everyone. Then, he spoke his last words: “Thank you.”

Prayer: Divine Friend, thank You for cherished friends.