Distributing Christ’s Body and Blood… a incredible burden…and gift
Devotional Thought of the Day
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NLT)
Monsignor Escrivá replied, “My Mass is never the same from one day to the next. Every day I linger, in a different way, on this prayer or that offering or that other petition. The Mass, which for me is Opus Dei, wears me out; it exhausts me! I thank God that this is so. It is a wonderful, divine burden, because it is not I but he, God, who carries it. All priests, be we sinners like me, or saints as some are, are never ourselves: it is Christ who renews his sacrifice of Calvary on the altar. I don’t ‘preside over’ anything. I am Christ at the altar! I consecrate in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, because I give him my body, my voice, and my poor heart which has so often been stained but which I want him to purify.”
It came as a bit of surprise this morning, as the pastor approached me during the passing of the peace. I suppose I am on vacation… if we as pastors ever really take such, and I would say we do not… we just go on enjoyable mission trips!
His assistant was out…his wife sprained her ankle… so would I assist him in distributing the Lord’s precious Body and Blood. He could not have given me a bigger blessing – to allow me to serve his people alongside him! Yet, once again, I realize that we aren’t really serving… we are being served, just simply passing on what Paul and Peter, Matthew and Luke, passed on to us.
The gift of God, for the people of God.
And yes… even doing that little thing… was precious, and in a way wearying…as I served the chalice… as people were blessed…
Much as St.Josemarie writes, another lesson learned, another blessing received. Though our theology differs some…there is that sense of observing – and watching the Holy Spirit work as people are nourished with Christ! Even more feeling at home, in this parish I’ve never visited…in the state I was born in… The burden born, sort of… seeing the spirit of people cared for, as Christ replaces the burden they carry with His love….As He cleanses, heals, forgives…
Please, please… think as you prepare and receive the Lord’s Supper…as we who serve distribute it…what great joy there is to be called to His Supper!!!!
Rejoice, the Lord is with you!!!!
(1) (1)Urbano, Pilar (2011-05-10). The Man of Villa Tevere (Kindle Locations 2977-2988). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.