St John's Q&A

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thank you, Jesus

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"

"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.

"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.

The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
To continue the previous post, it was around the age of 21 when I learned for the first time, really, that the Eucharist is Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I started to go to Mass during the week to hear the words that I had heard so many times..."This is my body...this is my will be shed for you and for all so that sins might be forgiven".

Not only did the words of the priest sink in as being real, but they spoke to me. Christ spoke to me through his priest. In a way, I was back at the Last Supper, hearing Him celebrate the Eucharist for the first time. But, deeper than that, I was picturing him on Mount Calvary, giving his life for me and for the forgiveness of my sins.

At that time, I had some pretty serious sins; I was still hitting the party scene, being a junior in college and working in a bar. I felt as if Christ saw all of my sins, the current ones and also the past ones (wow, I've been a great sinner), and said, "this is my body, given up for you". The consecration at Mass became a deeply personal moment, then, for me and the Lord. Some days, tears rolled down my eyes during Mass, thinking of all that Jesus endured on the Cross for me. He saw all of this awful stuff that I would do in my life, stretched out his arms on the Cross, and still said, "this is how much I love you".

In addition to daily Mass, I started to go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is where the Eucharist is brought out of the tabernacle and exposed on an altar in a chapel. I used to drive from Bethesda to Hyattsville every Thursday morning and spend from 6-7 am with Jesus in the Eucharist (the Hyattsville parish had Perpetual Adoration then, and needed someone there at every hour of the day). I really didn't know what I was doing at first...I just said something to the effect of:

"Jesus, I'm sorry, I didn't know that is really you in the Eucharist...all of those times I received you in Communion when I shouldn't have*...I didn't know...I just want to say thank you, Jesus...thank you for giving your life for me...thank you for dying on a cross for me... thank you for your sacrifice...thank you, Jesus** me to give you my life as you gave me your life...I love you, Lord"
* Don't worry, I confessed this to a priest
** The word Eucharist is Greek, and means "thanksgiving"


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