My Spiritual Drink

For My Flesh is true food, and My Blood is true drink. Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood remains in Me and I in him. John 6:55

This week I received a phone call from my Parish Church secretary telling me that starting May 1st I would once again be able to serve as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. I last served about a year ago; prior to the pandemic. There were several months last year without public Mass. Once the church doors opened to the public, there were a very limited number of Eucharistic Ministers and only His Body was distributed. Still, it was a joyous occasion to once again be apart of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and partake of Christ’s Body.

I know that the Host I consume is all of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity; however, I find myself longing to also drink from His Spiritual Cup. A meal consist of food and drink. Christ asked His disciples to break bread and drink wine in memory of Him. It greatly saddens me that the Blood of Christ seems to be an afterthought, practically discarded as unnecessary and of less importance.

The times I have served as a Minister of the Eucharist, I have favored giving the Body of Christ. Most of the mass attendees receive the Host lovingly and respectfully, bowing before their Lord before stepping up to receive Him. This is not the case with our Lord’s Blood.

A few years ago, I was waiting to get in the communion line when my eyes settled on my Christ in the Chalice being held by an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. My mind and heart were greatly troubled as I saw several people after receiving the Holy Host, bypass the Chalice without so much as a glance His way or a bow. After mass, I was relaying this to my husband, who was driving. I was adamant that Jesus was being dishonored and disrespected by the people not recognizing Him in His Chalice. My husband disagreed. He calmly told me that I was overreacting, (which I sometimes do). He reminded me that the Body of Christ contains all of Jesus as he added, “I see nothing wrong with people…” Suddenly he stopped speaking as the truck he was driving jerked as if my husband jammed his breaks! Just as fast as we were jolted to a stop, the truck again returned to a normal speed. All of this occurred without my husband’s foot ever leaving the gas pedal! Without missing a beat, my husband continued speaking, “…And I think you are absolutely right!”

I have heard people say that they do not drink from the Chalice because of the possibility of catching other people’s germs or sicknesses. I find it hard to believe that the vessel that holds my Lord could be contaminated. Just as Mary was made pure to hold Jesus in her womb, I believe any object that contains the Body and Blood of Christ must also be made pure and immaculate by the Holy Spirit.

I am very much looking forward to May and once again being able to give Christ to people. I also look forward to the day that I can also partake of Him in my Spiritual Drink. When that day comes, it is a choice whether or not to receive His Blood along with His Body. I ask that if one chooses to not receive the Chalice; they remember to be reverent while walking by. It is not wine that you are passing up, it is Jesus Christ Himself.

Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body, which will be given up for your; do this in memory of Me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new convenant in My Blood, which will be shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

Building Family and Faith

Many years ago, my children and I were spending the day at my parents’ home, (Maw-maw and Paw-paw), while my husband was busy at work. Paw-paw was busy building a folding camping table that day. My four-year-old, Brennan, stood nearby closely watching his grandfather measuring, sawing and nailing. My dad proudly showed off his carpentry skills for his grandson, who was thoroughly engrossed with the transformation of wood and nails into a fine piece of furniture. When the table was completed, my son ran over to me and Maw-maw and brought us over to see what his grandfather had accomplished. He boldly told his Paw-paw, “When my daddy grows up, he will be able to build too!” My husband drove up right at that moment as we were all chuckling over my son’s comment. He also got a big kick out of it!

This memory reminds me of St. Joseph. I can imagine Jesus as a little four-year-old boy watching his father work with wood; measuring, carving, and creating. As a young child, Jesus would have had that same wonderment as Brennan in seeing the transformation of wood into objects and furniture. He would have looked up to His father, St. Joseph, and would grow up learning the craft, assisting His father.

Not all men are skilled in carpentry, but all fathers are builders. It takes a loving and strong man to build his family, to protect them and guide them as spiritual leaders. St. Joseph is our model of a self-sacrificing husband and father. He did whatever was needed to keep his wife and Son safe, whether it meant finding shelter in a cave or fleeing for a strange land in the middle of the night. He was a man with tremendous faith and he built a Holy Family.

I grew up with a father who was a “jack-of-all-trades”. He could build and fix anything. I was the oldest of four girls and did not appreciate the many skills of my father when I was a girl. I thought at the time it was something all fathers could do. Seeing my father through my children’s eyes, I had a newfound appreciation of his creativity and craftsmanship. Today I look back at the times my father took on huge construction projects such as adding a third bedroom and utility room to our home and I realize he was not just building a home, he was showing his love for his wife and children. Taking time every Sunday to take our family to Mass and visit our grandparents, was my dad’s way of building faith in his family.

My wonderful husband is not a carpenter, but he is a builder. From the moment we left the church as man and wife, he has devoted his whole self and life to our marriage and family. My children, grandkids and I have always felt his love, devotion and protection. Years ago, he was involved with his boys as a football coach; today he leads his children and grandchildren in the rosary on first Fridays.

Looking back on that memory of Brennan, I do see now that his father did grow. We both grew as parents and now as grandparents. His father is a builder of family and of faith. I hope our grandkids look at us just as I saw Brennan look at my dad those years ago, with wonderment and with love.

Brennan with Paw-paw and Maw-maw