At some point, I will detail my life on this blog.
Now is not that time. Count your blessings.
A few weeks ago, I applied to serve as a missionary for NET (National Evangelization Teams) for the 2013-14 school year. I’ve had a heart for mission work for a long time, and though I was not actively pursuing this desire due to my circumstances in life, life happens and here I am. After applying, I was accepted to interview, and I spent this weekend in Houston, TX at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Community, interviewing and retreating.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into the weekend. I knew that it was called a retreat but I honestly didn’t know why. I knew there were talks that serve to foster a greater understanding of the ministry to the applicants. I knew there would be a lot of prayer. I knew that I would meet some people.
I did NOT know that a single comment by a fellow applicant would give me chills that I can’t get over.
Part of being a NET Missionary includes sharing your 3-minute testimony. Without going into too much detail, a boy shared a story of reversion: cradle Catholic, lost his faith, fell into the wrong crowd, God appears to him in a terrifying moment, and his faith is restored. Many people have stories like these. The life of the gospel is incredibly difficult. Yet this young man continued by explaining the importance of the relationship with his godmother in helping him to maintain that faith.
Whenever they depart, she says, “I’ll see you in the Eucharist.”
I literally still have goosebumps.
One of my favorite things about being Catholic is being a member of the Universal Church. I love that I can go to any given mass in the world and experience the same liturgy, follow the mass in any language, and receive the same Jesus through the Eucharist. And yet, despite knowing that the Eucharist unifies us, I forget what that means.
At home in Denver, I teach a bible study to a group of sophomore girls. I love them, and when I relocated to Dallas (story later), I felt like I was abandoning them. I have a co-leader, so they are not left in the dust, but I honestly felt like I was leaving them and they would hate me forever.
And then this young man reminded me– I see them in the Eucharist.
When we go to mass, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus. We become walking tabernacles. We solidify the grace we received at baptism. We reaffirm our decision to serve the Lord Jesus. We acknowledge our place as the Sons and Daughters of the Creator of the universe. We join as individual and necessary parts of a whole, as the body of Christ on the earth. Servants to the Kingdom of God.
And regardless of if we receive the Eucharist in each other’s presence, or parishes, states, countries away, Jesus remains infinite and the same. He does not change whether He is consecrated in Littleton, CO or Berlin, Germany, or Capetown, South Africa, or Tokyo, Japan. He is the same if the consecration is performed by a priest serving his first mass or the Pope.
Jesus is Jesus.
When we receive the Eucharist, we join in the lovely mystery of unity with Him and each other.