A friend e-mailed me, asking if I would serve as Eucharistic minister this weekend in her place, which I gladly accepted. I arrived early to sign up for a spot, but when I arrived, all the “bread” positions were taken (why they call it “bread” and “cup,” I have no idea, because we only go up into the sanctuary after consecration, so shouldn’t they be “Body” and “Blood” positions?).
I have only ever given out the Body of Christ, and ever since that first lecture in RCIA when Fr. John was speaking about dropping the host or spilling the consecrated wine, I have been terrified of doing either. I am still concerned when holding the Body of Christ, but, as a non-liquid, He is less . . . wiggly . . . in this way than the Blood. That, and I have nightmare daydreams about little kids grabbing the cup from me and spilling.
When I saw that I would be doing a “cup” position for the first time, I was kind of freaking out. After all, it wasn’t my choice to be a Blood minister. I had thought that eventually I would choose to try being a Blood minister (okay, there’s gotta be a better term for this) . . . you know, when I was ready. I told several of the other Eucharistic ministers with me that this was my first time — looking for reassurance. They were all very nonchalant about it, so I was left unvalidated in my fear. Adding to my sense of unease was the fact that I had been listening to the Bible on CD on the way in to church, and I was in the middle of Leviticus, where they are talking about splashing the blood on the altar. Which I really didn’t want to do today.
I was doubting my abilities to adequately protect Him until He was safely consumed and united with the faithful. Silly me, right? I mean, obviously, Jesus can take care of Himself. But, you know, I worry anyway. So, I was praying about this — trying to ignore my fear and trust that God wouldn’t have anything bad happen.
Then came the homily. Our associate pastor was the one celebrating this Mass; however, our pastor came out to tell us of a situation in the archdiocese which has recently become public. As I reflected on the matter, I was made even more aware of the significance to me of being the one who would be providing access to people to the Blood of Christ. Because it is the Blood of Christ which washes away our sins and effects our reconciliation with God. True, that we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus under either/both species; however, it is a stronger sign (for me anyway) in drinking of His Blood.
I felt, particularly at this time, that it was a time where everyone affected — our parish, the archdiocese — needed to be immersed in Christ. It was a time for reconciliation, healing, and most of all, for love. Whatever the truth of the matter, there are two people directly involved — both of which are hurt — and many other people indirectly hurt. This really hits home demonstrating the devastating effects of sin and how sin is a community affair — not limited to the involved parties.
I pray for God’s will to be done in regards to the situation, for His healing hand to be on the minds and hearts of everyone affected, and that the Holy Spirit works within us all so that we can love, show love and be love to all those who need it — especially in this matter. I pray that this will not divide us as a community. I pray that we will continue to have faith and trust, and leave the judging in His hands.
I do feel that I have a particular vocation, and it sometimes expands in scope, and I believe that in this case it includes this situation. Please pray for my compassion, empathy and strength, and the capacity for rendering whatever aid God asks of me.
So, I felt blessed to be able to participate in this way, in this specific Mass, being entrusted with the Precious Blood of our Lord. Somehow, it all tied together perfectly for me in a way which confirmed to me God’s presence. As was very recently pointed out to me, I am in His hands always — and that goes for every single one of us.
Sorry to be so vague.
— In His Love