Today's reading on this last Sunday of Advent was the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and how John the Baptist leapt with joy when he heard the voice of Mary and knew that she was carrying Emmanuel, God with Us, the Savior of all Creation. So it was Elizabeth did the same we are told in our homily today. We were asked "When did you leap for joy when you had a visitor?" I pondered this question and in my present journey my answer would be when I have been met every step of the way in my journey as I walk towards my transplant. How I have been met by the visit of Christ in my physicians, nurses, health care providers and in each of you. How the spirit in me leaps when I have heard the good news of each test which has opened the door for me to receive my transplant, how it leaps for joy when I have been graciously served by so many of you in errands, a place to stay when I have needed it and your prayers. A joy when I speak to my friend Rich who is so selflessly giving to me one of his kidneys. I have had many moments of "leaping for joy" these past few weeks.
This past Friday I had my last medical test, a cardiac catherization to clear me for my transplant. The test went well, my heart is in good condition and the date of January 22 has been securely set. I am joyful. I know that I have been met every step of the way and I know that this is just a portion of my journey. The next phase is my surgery and recovery and again I have learned to take it one day at a time. I must admit I was quite anxious before the catherization and it was difficult "letting go" but I relied greatly on all of your prayers and the realizaion that I have been seen this far and "Emmanuel is with me."
Please continue your prayers and know that I am thankful and think of you with great joy. Blessings and peace to each of you as we celebrate the Nativity of Christ!