Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Food for the Journey
I wish I could say that I made Daily Mass every day without fail. Alas, I am not there yet. Some weekdays I have a very good reason for missing Mass. Other days it is just laziness that keeps me away. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Why should Daily Mass attendance be a goal? Think of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. “He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Every day is like a journey to Emmaus. I will encounter Christ throughout the day. But will I recognize Him? Like the disciples I can be distracted by the world around me. Christ can be standing right before me and I will look high, low, and all around and not see Him. Yet when I attend Mass and receive His True Presence, my eyes are opened. Of course my eyes are also opened when I receive Him on Sunday. But then comes Monday and the laundry, dental appointments, soccer practices, music lessons, bills and deadlines hide Him from me. Daily Mass uncovers Him for me once again. I can see Him in the grocery store clerk and the barista at Starbucks. I can see Him in the little old lady driving 10mph under the speed limit on the Parkway. I can try to imitate His infatigable love as I repeatedly pick up dirty socks, gather newspapers, and load the dishwasher.
One of the Emmaus road sojourners from Scripture is Cleopas. He wistfully laments, ”The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;” Poor Cleopas. He had his own vision of The Redeemer. Christ’s Passion and Death did not fit into this vision. It is so easy to be like Cleopas. We put God, Christ, and the Church into our own vision and plan. When it doesn’t fit we get confused or doubtful or even angry. By the grace of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, our eyes are opened. We replace our own vision with the vision of God. We are able to say “Thy will be done, not my will.”
Daily Mass offers the nourishment I need for my daily journey to Emmaus. My heart may burn when I read His Word in Scripture. But He is truly made known to me in the breaking of the bread.