We had a very good turnout for our Summer Gatherings this year. People were very appreciative of Fr. Paul Turner’s presentation on the mass. It came at a good time as we continue the readings from the Gospel of John on Jesus’ Bread of Life discourse.
Fr. Turner reminded us that when we come to the Eucharist, we are bringing a sacrifice – the sacrifice of our very selves. The bread and the wine brought to the altar will be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ and returned to us for nourishment. Fr. Turner reminded us “the bread and the wine also represent the offering of yourself. When the gifts are brought forward, you are part of the offering to God. You want to be transformed into something even more pleasing to God than you already are.” I read a quote recently by Fr. Flor McCarthy, “To receive this food is to be reminded that, like Christ, we too must be willing to give ourselves in the service of others.” He went on to tell the following story.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a rule that when a newcomer arrived to join her Order, the Missionaries of Charity, the very next day the newcomer had to go to the Home of the Dying. One day a girl came from outside India to join, so Mother Teresa said to her: “You saw with what love and care the priest touched Jesus in the Host during Mass. Now go to the Home for the Dying and do the same, because it is the same Jesus you will find there in the broken bodies of our poor.”
Three hours later the newcomer came back and, with a big smile, said to her, “Mother, I have been touching the body of Christ for three hours.”
“How? What did you do?” Mother Teresa asked her.
“When I arrived there,” she replied, “they brought in a man who had fallen into a drain, and been there for some time. He was covered with dirt and had several wounds. I washed him and cleaned his wounds. As I did so I knew I was touching the body of Christ.”
As we are sent from mass today we are asked to see Christ in others and be Christ for others.