Thursday, March 20, 2008

Broken for Others

My husband and I went to the Chrism Mass for our diocese on Tuesday this week. At this mass, the bishop blesses the Oils of the Sick and of the Catachumens, and consecrates the Sacred Chrism Oil. These oils are then taken back to the individual parishes in the diocese and used throughout the following year for the various sacraments. It was a beautiful, very reverent mass.

The Bishop's homily was about the Eucharist--the body and blood of Jesus. He talked about how Jesus' body was offered as a sacrifice, consecrated, and broken for us. As a people, when we take in the Eucharist at mass, we are united together as the Body of Christ--the Church. We offer ourselves, are consecrated through the Eucharist, and are meant to be broken for others. So we take the Eucharist into ourselves, and we become the Eucharist, in a sense, for others.

Today's gospel reading for Holy Thursday is the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet at the Last Supper, and challenging them to serve others in the same way he served them.

And considering these two things, I ask I serving others the way he did? All the way to the cross?

Do I allow myself to be "broken" for others? Especially for the dear, dear souls in my own household?

I have a long way to go.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pity Party Ended

Today on Palm Sunday the Christian faith embarks upon Holy Week, the week where we remember the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

I especially appreciate now as a Catholic the liturgies of this week that bring such contemplation and solemnity to the greatest sacrifice ever made.

Yesterday I was on call for work as a hospice social worker. It was a very busy day. I ended up putting in over nine hours--3 hours on one visit alone!! As a result, I missed the dedication mass of our refinished church and new narthex. I was extremely disappointed as this was a mass our whole parish community has been looking forward to since last fall.

So I went to mass with that chip on my shoulder this morning. On top of that, our priest seemed to have started a couple of minutes early and I ended up sitting in the very back--it was hard to hear and no one sings. I was very crabby. And I was grumbling in my prayers about how it wasn't fair and that my house was messy and (poor me, poor me, poor me)--blecchh.

On Palm Sunday in the Catholic liturgy, the whole passion of our Lord is read--from the Last Supper to his death on the cross. And as I meditated upon that, and then received our Lord in the Eucharist and thought of his sacrifice for us--for me.......well, let's just say God straightened out my heart.

Grant me more humility, Lord. Thank-you for your redirection.