My mother used to say that the reason the church was filled to overflowing on Palm Sunday and Ash Wednesday was because people got something. The implication was that at every other time they didn’t.
You have probably heard often enough from family and friends who don’t attend church, ―I just don’t get anything out of it.‖ I’m not exactly sure just what it is they expect to get – surely not palms and ashes every time. We may even try to challenge them to examine what they bring rather than on what they get.
But maybe it is really about getting something – or Someone. How often do we come to Mass with aching hearts, anxious spirits, troubled souls? We long for comfort, strength and courage to go on. As Catholics we believe that each time we gather as a community, Christ is present in us, in the Word of God proclaimed, in the priest who gathers us as one and especially in the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Christ comes to us unconditionally, completely. We ―get‖ Christ and, as a community, become the Body of Christ – sent to be Christ’s hands and heart and life for others.
I once read that St. Therese of Lisieux spoke of the consecration at Mass and the reception of Holy Communion as the Kiss of Jesus, the kiss of Love. Not long after reading that I was at Mass sitting behind a young mother with her 2 year old. Just at the consecration, the priest is raising the Host and saying ―this is my Body‖, the child spontaneously kissed her mother. Shazam! I got it!
This Palm Sunday and throughout this Holy Week, let’s be open to the total self-giving God who loves us beyond measure.
“We belong to you, oh Lord of our longing, We belong to you. In our daily living, dying and rising, we belong to you.”
Peace to you,