1 There was a standing ovation at the ‘Oscar’ ceremonies in 1996 for the wheelchair-bound actor Christopher Reeve, who was born on this day in 1952.
2 The touching tribute was made to Christopher Reeve for his courage, having been paralysed from the neck down since a fall from a horse the year before, when he was aged 43. He is well-known for playing the part of ‘Superman’ in various films, and he was a role-model of an active and healthy man.
3 Some months after his disabling accident, Christopher Reeve stated that “laughter has the power to restore life”. A newspaper commented that he has been determined to set his disability aside and still aim to live life to the full. The newspaper wrote these words:
4 “Christopher Reeve - Superman - will never resume his old role but, when he shares of himself as he now is, on a million TV screens, then he will be facing the greatest challenge we can imagine - and then he really will be a ‘super-man’.”
6 When they feel diminished, remind them that you call them by name and hold them in the palm of your hand. Is 431
7 When they feel fragile and broken, mould them and heal them, that they may more closely resemble the image of Jesus, your Son and our Brother.
8 When they are reminded of different times in the past, lead them to grow in the faith that you love them today, as they are, in the reality of their lives this day.
9 When they feel uncertain about the future, lead them to that perfect love which casts out all fear. 1 John 418
10 When situations remind them - not of what they can do, but of what they cannot do - remind them that “love never fails”, 1 Cor 138 and that, living in your love, they will bear your fruit in plenty. Jn 155,9
11 May all of us - whatever our circumstances - never be so taken up with our own concerns
that we do not see or respond to the needs of others. May we live with courage the different challenges that each of us faces.