[Check out my video about this experience HERE]
I saw Jesus today. Did you? Have you seen Him at all in the past week? Perhaps you have seen Him, but haven't perceived Him to be there...
Some people may be surprised to hear that Jesus is still on earth! He is present in the Eucharist that we receive during Mass, that we reverence during Adoration, and that awaits us in the Tabernacle!
I have a strong attraction to the Eucharist. I believe that it is partly due to the fact that I reverted in front of the Blessed Sacrament and that He has touched my heart to His through this most precious Sacrament of the Eucharist. I can't really explain my love for this miracle, and many people are surprised to see that I have such a strong devotion to it at such a young age. I don't even know why, all I know is that I do, and I must have it for a reason.
(I have written about the manner of receiving the Eucharist in a previous post, but I wish to update you to let you know that my manner of reception is now kneeling and on the tongue. If you wish for me to elaborate at some later date, I would be happy to.)
I don't know what the reason is as of yet, but this week, I think I got a bit closer to finding out.
On Christmas eve, I attended an evening Mass with my brother. I love to sit in the front of the Church to watch/hear the Consecration (my fascination with the Eucharist never ends! haha). It slipped my mind that it was a HDOO and all of the CAPE (or worse, CE) Catholics would be there, many of whom hadn't been to Mass since Easter, and haven't been to Confession in only God knows how many months.
So as Mass continued and I realized how many people fell under this category (They still don't know the responses, and it has been over a year! haha), I began to worry about the reception of the Eucharist. My anxiety only got worse as the Liturgy of the Word ended and the Liturgy of the Eucharist continued. When I got into line to receive the Eucharist, I was at least three feet from the priest, still walking when he held up the Host and proclaimed, "The Body of Christ." I wasn't near him yet! I still had to kneel down and his manner of distributing the Eucharist began to bother me. Pass and go, pass and go. Almost like it was nothing.
The reception of the Eucharist did not make me feel any better. I witnessed a lot of people wiping the Eucharist on their clothes, or chewing it in a manner that was not exactly reverent. As I prayed for these people, it began to hit me that they didn't know what they were receiving. The young children, especially!
I couldn't take it. I covered my face and began to cry. As one who loves the Eucharist so much, it actually hurt me to witness this, and see Him being treated so poorly.
After talking with a good friend who shares the same devotion to the Eucharist, I feel better about the ordeal, and he gave me some (Holy Spirit guided!) insight and advice. We both agree that this devotion to the Eucharistic Christ is a gift that I have for a reason, and I have to continue to feed it, and use it in a way that brings glory to God.
So how does God want me to use this? I can't teach Sunday School or RCIA (as I am in school myself and these don't fit my hectic schedule). I can't give lectures in the middle of Mass about the Eucharist. I can't ask people if they really believe that He is present in the Eucharist as I distribute it (I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion).
God threw a batch awesome opportunities at me this week, and it only is getting better!
I have been asked multiple times this week about the Real Presence, from my family, friends, and co-workers. Usually, this topic doesn't come up this much in conversation.
Today, after meeting with my fellow members of our local Street Evangelization, I was chatting with one of them who is a youth minister at a local parish. She told me that next Sunday she is having a retreat/conference for the Confirmation Candidates. And what is the topic? THE EUCHARIST! :D So of course, I volunteered to give a talk/testimony on the Eucharist, how it changed my life, and how it continues to influence me.
The witness talk went really well, and I got many good reviews on it. It seemed like it was reaching people.
That was, until a few weeks later, in the same parish that I had just spoken in, I saw mistreatment of the Eucharist that made me cry and made me lose a bit of my respect for the priest. I was in the front of the church (as usual), watching as the EM distributed Him. The EM was standing directly in front of me. I watched him distribute the Eucharist, not holding Him up, just placing Him in peoples' hands. And the moment I knew would happen came: he missed someone's hand, and dropped Christ on the floor.
Immediately I began to cry. I prayed for the EM. I prayed for the parish. I prayed for forgiveness for all souls. Christ was on the floor!
The EM picked Him up and consumed Him, and kept on distributing, not even phased.
As soon as Mass ended, I sprinted to the sacristy, moistened a purificator, and wiped up the spot where Christ was laying on the floor. After rinsing out the purificator and washing the Eucharist down the special sink that goes into the ground, I confronted the priest who was presiding, and told him what happened. I figured that he would want to know.
Me: "Um, Father, one of the Eucharistic Ministers dropped Jesus on the floor, and although he picked up the big pieces of the Eucharist, I had to go wipe Him up off the floor..."
Fr. : "Oh, you only need to clean it up if it's the wine." And then he dismissed me.
My fury was overwhelming. I was so upset, and sad. How could a PRIEST be this irreverent as to not care that JESUS HIMSELF was on the floor!!!
A few weeks later, after praying for a way to use my love of the Eucharist, I was confronted with another opportunity: to give another witness talk (the same one) to a group of 8th graders who were learning about Eucharistic Adoration at another parish. Boy, did I jump at that chance! It all happened because the Youth Minister overheard me speaking with another YM about all of my ordeals and my witness talks. That YM (with whom I was speaking) signed me up to give another witness talk at a retreat in April.
THIS IS AWESOME!
The Holy Spirit answers prayers!
It seems like God is putting everything in place now! That awful experience at Christmas Eve Mass has sparked a flame in my heart that is leading me to evangelize the Real Presence and spread the teaching around!
Please continue to pray for me, that He may use me to do His Will and to spread devotion to Him in the Eucharist!
God bless you all!