Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Preparation in Meeting Jesus in the Holy Eucharist...

Last week’s column noted that our parish and Sacred Heart Parish participated together in a Corpus Christi procession and devotions. Part of this involved stopping at four different stations along the way in order to say particular prayers and for the priest to bless those gathered with the Blessed Sacrament. These four stations are made to look like altars, and upon these altars the monstrance is placed for only a few minutes before the blessing. It was impressive to look at these “altars.” They were prepared with various colored cloths, linens, and backdrops. Also, these stations were adorned with candles and many flowers.

The parishioners who did this work spent much of their time and energy to make each station very beautiful. It shows that nothing is too good for Our Lord. Even though each altar would be used for only a few minutes, our parishioner volunteers did not spare any effort. It was a moving expression of the love each has for Jesus Christ. Just imagine how appreciative Our Lord was for their gifts of time, talent, and material.

Jesus recognizes our gifts to Him. He sees how we value Him in the Holy Eucharist. He accepts lovingly even the smallest details, for example, how each of us prepares for Mass. One sign of our love is the conscious effort to dress fittingly for the occasion of meeting God truly present in the tabernacle and during the Mass. Dressing ourselves comfortably but always modestly shows reverence for the One we love.

Another sign of our love has to do with our interior disposition. Going to Mass is going to Heaven on earth. We rightfully refer to Holy Communion as the heavenly banquet. Of course, we should be cordial with people around us; before going to Mass, we are in conversation with family, friends and acquaintances. We have to pay attention to driving safely in order to get to Church. But, always in the background, and in the forefront whenever possible, our thoughts should go to Jesus Whom we are about to meet in the Holy Eucharist.

Just as our parishioner volunteers expressed their devotion to Jesus by spending so much time making the four Blessed Sacrament stations so beautiful, we should make sure that each of our interior lives is beautifully prepared to receive Him. It naturally happens that our interior dispositions will be reflected in our outward appearances, in how we dress. God will always note and remember the little details, to which we attended, in order to meet Him.

Fr. Stanley