A Death That Gives Life: True Story

A few years ago, the television and print media carried the story of a seven-year-old boy who died in tragic circumstances while on vacation with his family in Italy. Armed thieves, attempting to take the family’s car and valuables, waited in ambush in the Italian countryside. As the car passed, the thieves sprayed a shower of bullets at the vehicle. Although the family was able to escape, some of the bullets had hit the young boy, while he slept in the back seat. A short time later, the child was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. People were shocked and outraged as the sad news was reported. But public outrage was soon replaced by wonder and admiration. The boy’s family arranged that all of their son’s vital organs be harvested and donated. As a result, the lives of eight Italians, each of whom received one or more of the child’ healthy organs, were forever changed. For some it meant being able to see again; for others death was postponed because a young vital organ had replaced an aged, defective one. Because organ donation was such a rarity in Italy, the gift of life was all the more remarkable.

This story reminds us of the death of another son, whose dying brought life to so many. If the broken body of the Lord can bring life ours too. In every child birth, a woman’s body is broken and blood poured out in order to bring new life. To become a mother is to celebrate the Eucharist.

When I see a calloused hand, a tear furrowed face …. I know the Eucharist is celebrated.