Emily and GMR 2013.jpgThis morning a dear little friend was called home to the Lord following a long and stressful encounter with neuroblastoma. Giovannimaria (GMR), 7, has been in the USA for the last few years, coming from Rome, to receive the best treatment possible from the health professionals at Memorial Sloan Kettering, NYC.

Giovannimaria suffered much, especially in the last few months. He bore significant pain and an experience of several hospitalizations.

Having been with the GMR and his family has been a good thing for me for this reason: he has helped me in no demonstrable way to reflect on the meaning of life, suffering, faith, friendship, healthcare, people’s dignity and the like. This was a profound experience for me; it was life altering for GMR. While I can say that GMR and his family opened new doors to what it means to belong to Jesus in a concrete way. I was with GMR when he first received the Eucharistic Lord but he alone made the journey to meet the Lord personally.
I hope when GMR met Jesus earlier today he asked Him why he had to live and die from a disease as painful as neuroblastoma. I am looking forward to the real answer. Perhaps the Lord said to GMR, “you had the tumors to show the world what it means to have mercy for oneself, others and those who are not like me; to allow me to love you and the others in a big way.”
With the Church we pray,

O God, who called your servant Giovannimaria to serve you in affliction and sickness, grant, we pray, that he who followed your Son’s example of suffering, may also receive the reward of his glory.

In this picture is Giovannimaria and our friend, Emily. Photo courtesy of George Goss, Dominican Foundation.