Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You are what you eat (it's a long one.)

Sometimes I feel like I should have lived years ago, but I know that I am called to something, I just wish I knew what it was. For over a year, more likely two years I have wanted to do a day of reflection on the Blessed Sacrament for the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at my parish, but I honestly think I'm afraid to hear the answer be it yes or no from Msgr. George. I don't know why, I know I can handle running the day, and I've been "Eucharistly" ( I just make up a word and I don't care) orientated for most of my life, so coming up with a "talk" would be easy. Actually I found something I wrote two years ago, titled "You are what you eat"

I want to know where the me of 2 years ago went, where is the person that wrote this...

"We often hear the phrase “you are what you eat.” As a child my friends and I would wonder if we would turn into hot dogs or pizzas, but alas we didn’t, much to our dismay and delight we stayed human. You are what you eat can be taken literally when it comes to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Every week if not every day we have the opportunity to receive Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and become what we eat. For by receiving Jesus via Communion that is what we do, we eat Him, we let Him enter into our inner beings, or shall I say He lets us let Him enter our inner beings. We become like Mary, a living tabernacle. As Mary was the first tabernacle, the first vessel to carry Jesus to others, we are called to do the same.

Elizabeth and John knew when Mary visited them that something special was inside of her. How many times do we push others out of the way to get to the doors of the Church or to say hi to the priest? Do we stop to think that we are carrying Jesus within us at that very moment? Most times we don’t, it’s usually I’ve got to get out of that parking lot before the traffic jam starts, or got to get over to confirmation class or to some other event. John jumped for joy inside Elizabeth when Mary greeted them, we jump out of the way of that speeding car in the parking lot."

I never finished it, I did start to write another version of it, speaking about the traditions of "yesteryear" , you know bells at the Consecration, silence before and after Mass, you know stuff like that.

Here's that one...

"Jesus said, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood,” and how quickly we forget that. We’re all about being “Christ like” but do we really believe that. We follow Jesus’ teaching, except when it comes to this one. As Catholics we have the opportunity to do as Jesus says everyday, but so many times we overlook it.

Jesus humbles Himself to be in a piece of bread that we eat. He lets us let Him enter into our inner being. So it still looks and tastes like bread, but it’s so much more. We are what we eat, we carry Jesus to other. It doesn’t stop at when we walk out the doors of the church, it continues on.

Jesus doesn’t hide in the “gold box”, it may be His house, and we won’t fit in it, hence why He comes out to us, but He invites us to visit Him everyday, to come and sit with Him, to talk to Him, to be with Him.

It’s funny how the traditions of “yesteryear” leave to bring new ones. Maybe it’s my vantage point, if you want to call it that, from the choir loft, or maybe it’s the “traditionalist” in me, but it seems the so many people forgot what happens at the Consecration. Not until it was mentioned, did I realize how important the bells at the Elevation of the Host and Chalice are/were. In a church looking for “Sacred Silence”, it forgets how sounds affect a person. The ringing of the bells reminds you that something important is happening. Something so important we often blow it off to look at a window or the person next to us. How quickly traditions fade away.

We go over protocol, which seems like common sense to me. Genuflect at the Tabernacle, duh, the King of Kings is there. Clothing, what happened to “Sunday best.” Please, I shouldn’t even breach this topic but I will any way. Being an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, what an honor, yet how often we forget that too. In a very special way we bring Jesus to others. Sometimes it takes a simple act of bowing and reverently receiving Communion to remind me of what I am holding and doing.

Why do I feel so young yet seem to know more about ritual than those double my age. I mean, nothing has changed since I was a child, minor things like no bells, have but nothing major. It really is amazing how a moment of silence only seconds longs broken by a ding will make you sit or kneel up more straight. But we don’t have bells any more, why because, “we don’t need them.”"

So many times while serving as an Extraordinary Minister I look to my fellow ministers and see them with no expressions on their faces, but the stoic look of don't mess with me. I remember as I was walking to distribute Communion to the choir someone saying to me "Smile, you're carrying Jesus." I laughed as I got to the steps to go up to the choir lot, and said it's true, I should be smiling. Now I can't help but stand there with a smile on my face, and you know people notice. Many times when I am standing there with a chalice watching people walk past me, I catch them smile because I am smiling. What's not to smile about, Jesus is entering into us so we can "go light the world."

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