“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I was so happy to go to church today for Mass. I so longed to receive my Eucharistic Lord. In order to be able to attend mass, every church in my area requires masks. We were also, STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to receive Jesus in our hand.
I pondered and prayed about this request and I kept hearing: spiritual courage. Have spiritual courage. Courage not to do what everyone else is doing but to do what God would desire.
We go to Mass to adore our Lord and thank Him for staying with us on this earth in the humble form of bread transformed into His Body. Every time I look at Jesus in the Monstrance, I see humility. How can the God of the universe humble Himself so much?? The answer is simple. He loves us. Yes, He loves all of us broken people.
When I walked into church, I saw these arrows to direct me in one door and then leave out of the other. Certain pews were taped off. A bottle of hand sanitizer was included along with the water and wine on the altar.
When it was time to receive Jesus, I kept on praying for spiritual courage. Since we have to be escorted now in order to maintain social distancing, I was escorted to receive Jesus. I knelt and stuck out my tongue. I have nothing against this wonderful priest. He is a sweet soul. He tried to put Jesus in my hand and I said, “No. Please place him on my tongue. He never touched my tongue but yet sanitized his hands. I don’t know if this was a directive from the bishop or if he just felt like doing this to appease the rest of the congregation. I even heard a lady gasp as if I committed a crime.
Despite the fact that the priest was saying that he was glad to see everyone back, there was a sense of tenseness in the air. I felt such a sense of fear in that whole church. Could it be that we were wearing masks? Or was it because we had to take all these kinds of precautions not to be near one another?
I was trying so hard to concentrate on Jesus but with all these new “precautions”, I was distracted.
What happened to walking into the House of the Lord and knowing this is the House of Lord? Why are we bringing worldly garb into the supernatural realm? If you believe that the House of the Lord is holy and supernatural, then there is no need for masks, hand sanitizer and irreverently receiving Jesus in the hand.
Make no mistake about it, I was there at one point where I did what I was told until it didn’t feel right. I suddenly looked at my hands one day and thought, “Am I worthy to touch my Lord?”
I remember when I was young, I would line up behind someone kneeling at the communion rail. Your hands would have to be folded just so and underneath the railing. The reason for this is that the communion plate the altar boy holds goes under your chin so as to ensure that every particle of Our Lord is not dropped when you received Him on the tongue. Did you know that in the old rite of baptism, the tongue was blessed by a touch of blessed salt so as to receive our Lord worthily?
All of a sudden, when I was almost 17, the church I went to all of my life changed the rules. We no longer used the communion rail and everyone must receive Jesus in the hand. I didn’t know any better and just went along.
I do know better now. I will never receive Jesus on my hand. I will never take the chance of dropping one particle of His precious Body on the floor to be trampled on.
Our Lord already died for us once. A most horrific death. Must he be trampled on by those of us who are supposed to love Him? Have you looked at your hands to make sure that there are no particles stuck to it? Have you brushed your hands down your clothes instead or rubbed your hands together possibly dropping the precious body of Our Lord to be thrown into the laundry on your clothing? Stepped on by your shoes? Vacuumed up by the church cleaning crew?
It’s no wonder that 70% of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. If you were an outsider looking in, would you believe?
We should be on our hands and knees giving praise and thanks to Our Eucharistic Lord for staying with us. He didn’t have to, but He wanted to.
“Father they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am, they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
Let us come back from our slumber and rise to the heights of holiness that God wants of us. In this realm, there is no room for fear. Fear is the work of the devil to immobilize us. We should have no fear of dying. This is not our home. We should have joy and trust in our hearts every minute of the day because we know that the Lord loves us.
Just pay attention to each day, you can sense His presence with you. The little blessings we take for granted. The big ones, we just think are luck. I so dislike that word. There is no such thing as luck, but there is such a thing as love. God’s love for us.
I am encouraging all of you to put on the Armor of God. We need to be His hands and feet in this battle to reform our church into what it was intended to be in the first place…. The supernatural realm of the Almighty Lord.
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
2 Timothy 1:7-8