June 6, 2018
“During the Vietnam War, some stray artillery rounds landed in an orphanage wounding several children. One girl lost a lot of blood. A navy American Doctor and an American nurse came to help and knew that the girl needed an immediate blood transfusion to save her life. To get a donor, the doctor and nurse called together a group of unharmed orphans and in their stumbling Vietnamese they explained to them that someone would have to give blood to save the wounded girl. At first nothing but silence and stares came from the frightened youngsters. Then a small hand went up in jumpy hesitation, down again, up again, down again. Then the hand went up of a little boy, aged ten.
The boy was placed on a cot. His blood was quickly drawn for a compatibility test which it passed. Then the transfusion started directly from him to the girl. But Hanh, the boy’s name, soon broke into crying. “Is it hurting Hanh?” asked the nurse. He shook his head, “No,” and went into deeper sobs and began to shake. Soon he was into a flood of tears. The medical team became nervous. Something was wrong?
At that moment a Vietnamese nurse arrived. She spoke to Hanh in his own language, engaging him in rapid-fire dialogue. After answering several sobbing questions, she whispered softly to him. Then he became calm and his crying faded away. Turning to the American medics, the nurse said in subdued tones: “The boy thought he was going to die. He had the impression that you needed all his blood and that he would have to die to help save the little girl’s life. The shocked doctor asked, “How could he possibly have the guts to do that?” The Vietnamese nurse turned and asked the little fellow. He answered, “Because she is my friend.”
Jesus has given his body and blood for us to save and nourish our life. How much do we appreciate it? The Eucharist is the best thing Jesus can give us. Do we ever take it for granted? These questions would be good for our reflection on the feast of Jesus’ Body and Blood. May God Bless you!