Reflections: 11th February 2018

A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 1: 40-45 (

Saying ‘thank you.’

The gospel this Sunday talks of a leper who was healed by Jesus.  It reminds me of the story of the ten lepers who were healed and where only one came back to say ‘thank you’.  Jesus, who had performed the healing, was pleased to receive a word of thanks when these signs of the Kingdom of God were to be seen.  It’s always nice to be thanked.

It’s one of the satisfactions that we receive here in Hazel Unit of Dublin’s Cherry Orchard Hospital.  The hospital ( has changed over the years.  When I first came to work here with young babies, it was still a fever hospital which catered for patients who had T.B. or meningitis.  For a while in the 1990s it was where Bosnian refugees arriving in Ireland were initially accommodated. Today much of the hospital is devoted to care of the elderly, many of whom have dementia.  Hazel Unit is one such area.  As staff, we strive at all times to provide the best possible care to our residents. This is an ongoing, day-to-day job and is sometimes quite stressful. 

As in the gospel, we always welcome when someone says thanks.  It may be one of the residents, a relative or a friend who comes to visit or who sometimes assists in care.  Cards and letters of appreciation are constant and almost always positive.  Two recent examples were striking: One spoke of the professionalism but also of the good humour of staff and went on to say “My world view has been expanded through this journey”.  Another was delighted when her mother described staff as “her crowd”.

It’s our life-choice to care for our residents.  Like Jesus in the gospels, though we do not seek it, it is pleasant when someone says thank you.  Long may it continue!

Kathleen Bodkin – From Co. Galway, Kathleen is Clinical Nurse Manager in Cherry Orchard Hospital, Dublin.