I am humbled every time I am privileged to serve as a Lector and altar server. I usually exercise this great gift on Tuesdays in my parish.
Believe me, I know I am unworthy to be in the sanctuary that close to the Holy Sacrifice. I am painfully aware that the tongue which reads forth the Word of God is one that also yells out in anger and criticizes others. Yes, I have no business proclaiming the Word of God – no human does.
This is the reason I try not to take such an undeserved privilege for granted.
Nothing prepared me for what happened in the sacristy after Mass yesterday. Sweet little Mary had been picking up the hymnals and returning them to their proper place when a broken and presumably consecrated host fell out of the hymnal and into her hand.
|(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Dear God no! Not here in this Church, Not in this parish. No one would treat You so contemptuously with such disdain and irreverent conduct. But obviously someone had.
It is bad enough You are locked as prisoner in our tabernacles where you are often ignored and exposed to loud banal chatter. At least some of your followers come and visit you there with reverence and appreciation. But here you were trapped in a book and no one save the person who put You there knew until sweet Mary rescued you.
How long had you been stuck into between the pages of this hymnal? Had this ever happened before? Did the person who did this to You, ever act that way previously? What would prompt someone to do something so egregious?
Did they come belatedly to realize they were unworthy to receive You and thought it better to just leave You there unconsumed? Did they do this on purpose with the specific intent to offend You? We may never know the answer to those questions this side of heaven.
What we do know is that this type of offense against the God of love must end.
Receiving communion on the tongue is no guarantee of ending such abuse but it certainly renders it more difficult to do so.
What are we to do in the face of such conduct? Silence cannot be an option.
Something must be said to the parish congregation – instructively, lovingly, pleadingly.
Jesus I am so sorry you were treated with irreverence and disdain. May it never happen again.
Be merciful O Lord to us sinners.