Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 15

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel






From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 2


When Jesus came to visit the two sisters of Lazarus, the sister named Mary sat at Jesus’s feet and listened to him while the other sister, Martha, feverously worked in the kitchen to entertain their houseguest. Finally Martha came to Jesus and complained about the fact that Mary wasn’t helping her. Wandering minds, worriers, and a host of others don’t like what Jesus told Martha: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful.Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41–42).
I was discussing the topic of this book with a priest and he told me that in his many years of presiding at the Eucharist in churches around the world he thought that the organist was the most distracted member of almost every parish, “always fiddling with the music for the next piece, kind of a visual mind wandering.” It is easy to be caught up in worrying about doing a good job to the point that we forget why we are doing the job. Jesus tells the Martha in all of us, “One thing is needful.”
When we come to the Eucharist, are we adoring God, or worshipping something else?



M
OUR SACRIFICE
.
AKE AN OFFERING OF ANY FALSE GODS
We give up anything that we think is more important than God.

G O D A L O N E
Over the entrance to the cloister of the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky are two simple words that are not simple at all in

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practice: God Alone. What really is necessary? God. What truly is worth worrying about? Our relationship with God.
Jesus said, “One thing is needful.”
If you want to get the most out of the Eucharist, adore God! Worship the One who can save you from whatever life may bring, even death!


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 14

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 1 

O come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!          
— P SALM 9 5 : 6

The Baltimore Catechism was used as a primary teaching tool when I was a child. Even though I probably was taught with
 it for only the first three or four years of my Catholic education, like others before me I haven’t forgotten the simple lessons it taught me, like:
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Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.
“All things”includes me and everyone else on the earth,along with everything else that I can perceive. God is the maker of all that is, and as such is the most important Being that exists. My very existence depends upon God.
It follows then,and this is from the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church,that “to adore God is to acknowledge,in respect and absolute submission, the ‘nothingness of the creature’ who would not exist but for God.To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself” (CCC 2097).
W H E N Y O U R M I N D WA N D E R S
One of the most frequent complaints that people who genuinely want to get more out of the Eucharist raise is that they find that their mind wanders at Mass. The cause of their distraction may be as simple a question as “Did I turn off the car lights?” or as weighty a concern as “I wonder how I’m going to pay the mortgage or rent this month?” It is understandable, given the hectic pace of life, that when we try to quiet ourselves in the presence of God we often find that our minds are cluttered with many distracting thoughts.
H ELP FROM THE FATHERS OF THE C HURCH
For often in the very sacrifice of praise urgent thoughts press themselves upon us, that they should have force to carry off or pollute what we are sacrificing in ourselves to God with weeping eyes. Whence when Abraham at sunset was offering up the sacrifice, he was troubled by birds of prey sweeping down on the carcasses, but he diligently drove them off,so that they might not carry off the sacrifice being offered up (cf. Gen. 15:11). So let us, when we offer a holocaust to God upon the altar of our hearts, keep it from birds of

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prey that the evil spirits and bad thoughts may not seize upon that which our mind hopes it is offering up to God to a good end.
— S T. G REGORY THE G REAT

Monday, June 18, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 13

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 9



F U R T H E R H E L P S

1. Keep Your Focus on Jesus
Whenever you desire to “control” what happens in the Eucharist, or suffer because you sense someone else is hijacking the liturgy,
    Think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
    Think of Jesus telling his followers to take up their crossand follow him.
    Think of Jesus saying that he did not come to be servedbut to serve.
Keeping your focus on Christ will prevent the devil in his attempts to distract you from the purpose of the Eucharist.
2. Learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary
Following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary we declare ourselves at God’s service. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38) was Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel’s
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announcement that God would become incarnate within her. When we come to the Eucharist, God desires to continue the incarnation within us, and Mary teaches us how we should approach so great a gift.
Mary’s reaction to the angel’s message gives a supreme example of the sacrifice we can bring to every celebration of the Eucharist. When confronted with anything that does not go according to our plans,we need to open ourselves up to what God might be asking of us.
3. Foster an Attitude of Service
When Joshua realized that he was being confronted by a messenger of God, someone who at first he was not sure was a friend, he asked, “What does my Lord bid his servant” (Joshua 5:14)?
When we have the right stance toward God in our worship this is the question we will ask when confronted by anything that disturbs us: “What does my Lord bid his servant”?
4. Developing a Eucharistic Spirituality
Empowered by Christ, we should seek to serve God and anyone God places in our path throughout the day. “How may I serve you?” should be the question ever on our lips, whether at home, at work, or in recreation. We can find concrete ways to serve Christ in the many guises in which he comes to us in the poor and the weak.
5. A Prayer for Today
These beautiful words of St. Augustine, taken from his Soliloquies, may help you to ask God for the grace to offer yourself, so to be at his service:
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O God, at last You alone do I love, You alone I follow, You alone I seek, You alone am I prepared to serve, for You alone by right are Ruler, under your rule do I desire to be. Direct, I pray, and command whatever You will, but heal and open my ears, that I may hear Your utterances. Heal and open my eyes, that I may behold Your signs. Drive delusion from me, that I may recognize You.Tell me where I must go, to behold You, and I hope that I shall do all things that You command. O Lord, most merciful Father, receive, I pray, Your fugitive; enough already, surely, have I been punished, long enough have I served Your enemies,whom You have under Your feet, long enough have I been a sport of falsehood.Receive me fleeing from these, Your house-born servant, for did not these receive me,though another Master’s,when I was fleeing from You? To You I feel I must return: I knock; may Thy door be opened to me; teach me the way to You. Nothing else have I than the will: nothing else do I know than that fleeting and falling things are to be spurned, fixed and everlasting things to be sought.This I do, Father, because this alone I know, but from what place to approach You I do not know. Instruct me, show me, give me all that I need for the journey. If it is by faith that those find You, who take refuge with You then grant faith: if by virtue, virtue: if by knowledge, knowledge. Fill me with faith, hope, and charity. O goodness, singular and most to be admired!8

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 12

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel








From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 8



F O S T E R I N G   A N AT T I T U D E     O F S E R V I C E
If you have ever held a position in a service industry then you know that one of the principal ways of fostering an attitude of service is by presuming that the customer is always right.Having been in that position myself in many different jobs over the course of my life, I know that many times the customer isn’t right,but I also know that when you treat them as if they are they are more apt to come to the truth than when you treat them in an arrogant manner.
H ELP FROM THE FATHERS OF THE C HURCH
Let your prayer, then, be no mere pronouncing of words with the lips. Devote your whole attention to it, enter into the retreat of your heart, penetrate its recesses as deeply as possible. May he whom you seek to please not find you negligent. May he see that you pray with your whole heart, so that he will deign to hear you when you pray with your whole heart.
— S T. A MBROSE

Fostering an attitude of service toward God in the Eucharist is not exactly the same thing as assuming that the customer is always right, however, because unlike the human customer, who may in fact be wrong, God is always right! Believing that can lead us to some rather startling conclusions,when we come to Mass and with every moment of our lives. A great illustration of this attitude of service is found in the Second Book of Samuel when King David flees Jerusalem after it has been taken over by his son Absalom. As David flees, a kinsman of King Saul named Shimei comes out as the king passes by and begins cursing him, continually throwing stones at David and his servants.One of David’s servants,Abishai, says to David,“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head” (2 Samuel 16:9).
King David’s response is to rebuke Abishai and to wonder “If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him,‘Curse David,’who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” (2 Samuel 16:10). They travel on and Shimei continues to follow them, cursing while throwing stones and dust.
What if this were our attitude? What if we were to take a second look when something happens that isn’t in our plan, perhaps even to think that the person cursing us might be doing so because God is telling him or her to do so?
A servant is always ready to serve.This is a sacrifice that Christ demands of his followers, and one that when we embrace it will help us to get the most from the Eucharist we celebrate.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 11

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 7


“ I H AV E G I V E N Y O U     A N E X A M P L E
Jesus told his disciples that he had given them a model to follow. He said,“If you know these things,blessed are you if you do them” (John 13: 17).
The traditional tale of the fall of Satan is that it was due to his refusal to serve: non serviam, “I will not serve,” was the devil’s reply to God.Inflated by pride,he would not obey.Fallen human-
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ity shares this trait, as Jeremiah the prophet says: “For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, ‘I will not serve’ ” (Jeremiah 2:20).
In opposition to Satan and fallen humanity is Jesus Christ. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. We who follow him are “in Christ”and we are to imitate him at the liturgy.If we want to get the most out of the Eucharist we need to start by fostering the attitude of Christ the Servant.
C O U C H P O TAT O C AT H O L I C S ?
It strikes me that at the heart of every problem we experience in the Eucharist today is a fundamental stance of someone who will not serve but wants to be the one served — sort of a couch potato Catholic.
St. Benedict, in his Rule, explains the proper attitude the follower of Christ is to have at prayer: “If we do not venture to approach men who are in power, except with humility and reverence, when we wish to ask a favor, how much must we beseech the Lord God of all things with all humility and purity of devotion? And let us be assured that it is not in many words, but in the purity of heart and tears of compunction that we are heard.7
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he have mercy upon us.
— P SALM 1 2 3 : 2

If someone very important were coming to your house, you would want to make sure that the person was at ease, you would look after his or her comfort, and that person would be the center of your attention until his or her departure. Likewise, if we truly serve God at our celebration of the Eucharist, God will be our focus. Our hearts and minds will be raised to him.
If your role is to preside at the liturgy, you must serve the liturgy faithfully
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as the Church has handed it down to you. If you are a musician, the music must serve the liturgy, helping all to raise their voices as one to God. If you function as a lector you must proclaim the readings with great care so that all may hear the Word clearly. Every person in the congregation has a role to serve in the Eucharist.

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 10

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 6

The Sacrificial Meal That Jesus Has Given Us
A second possible meaning to the question Jesus asked relates to the Lord’s Supper that He had just given to his disciples. Jesus
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had taken bread that he said was his body and wine that he said was his blood and given it to his disciples. Then he got up from the meal and washed his disciples’feet — lowering himself,doing the task of a servant, then returning to his place. Some Scripture commentators point out that symbolically this action of Jesus mirrors his incarnation, God lowering himself to become one of us, and then after his death and resurrection, ascending back to the heavens. Yet Jesus did not abandon his apostles. He promised to send his Spirit and commanded them to celebrate the memorial of his Passion, death, and resurrection — the Eucharist.
Do we know what Jesus has done for us in giving of himself to us when we celebrate the Eucharist?
If you have ever attended the ordination of a priest, it is likely that you have been struck by various parts of the ritual.The prostration and the laying on of hands are both deeply moving, but the one part of the ordination rite that has struck me every time I have witnessed it is the moment when the newly ordained priest kneels before the ordaining bishop,who hands a chalice and paten to the priest as he says to the newly ordained: “Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to him. Know what you are doing, imitate the mystery that you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the cross.”5
In that brief exhortation there is an excellent message for every one of us:“know what you are doing,imitate the mystery that you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the cross.” It echoes Jesus’s question to his disciples, “Do you know what I have done for you?”
St. Paul spells out what Jesus has done for us in his Letter to the Philippians 2:5–7:“though he was in the form of God,[Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Jesus is the Son of God who lowered himself and became one of us.
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The God who is above everything we can think of, who is the very reason that we live and the reason that the universe exists, humbled himself to become a part of creation. This is in direct opposition to fallen humanity that sought “to become like God” when it disobeyed God’s command in the Garden of Eden.
Our desire to be in control is part of our fallen nature. Many of us live with an illusion that we are in control. We are taught to plan for every eventuality,to insure ourselves for every possible disaster, but if we do not realize that only God is in control, we are living in a fantasy world. Think of the parable that Jesus told of the rich man (see Luke 12:16–21) who built bigger barns to store his large harvest; he was foolish, Jesus said, because he was to die that night. His material wealth could not save or help him once he was in the grave. The rich man thought he was in control of his destiny but, like every one of us, found out that he was not — God was and is.
Jesus rescues us from the chaos that life is without him. Pope John Paul II has said, “In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service:‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all’ (Mk 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist,but instead relates the ‘washing of the feet’ (cf. Jn 13:1–20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.6

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 9

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 5

“DO YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE FOR YOU?”

When Jesus had finished washing the feet of his disciples, he rose and resumed his place at the table and asked them a simple question: “Do you know what I have done for you?”
There are several ways to take this question which Jesus posed to us, his followers; let me suggest two.
What Jesus Has Saved Us From
The first possible meaning relates to what Jesus has done for us by his sacrificial act on the cross:Do we know what Jesus has saved us from?
You may know enough to say,“Jesus has redeemed us from the bondage of original sin,” but unless you know what the lived consequences of this sin are, you cannot fully appreciate what Jesus has saved you from.The Catechism of the Catholic Church spells out the nature and effects of original sin in paragraphs 397–412. Here I briefly summarize this teaching and contrast it with how Jesus has reversed the “curse” of original sin. First, in the sin:
    Man “let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and,abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command” (CCC 397).
Jesus trusted in God completely, even to death on the Cross, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
    Man “preferred himself to God,” thereby turning his back on the Creator (CCC 398).
Jesus, though he was the form of God, did not deem equality with God; rather, Jesus lowered himself, taking the role of a servant (see Philippians 2:6–7).
As a result of original sin:
    People are “afraid of the God of whom they have con-ceived a distorted image” (CCC 399).
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At the Conception of Jesus, his Mother was told: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). Jesus told his followers, “I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten by God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:5–7).
    The original “harmony in which they [Adam and Eve] found themselves … is now destroyed” (CCC 400). — Jesus set the example of reversing this disharmony, so that St. Paul would pray, “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5).
    “The control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered” (CCC 400).
Jesus’s death and our incorporation into it at baptism restore the right order, as St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace” (Romans 6:12–14).
    “The union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination” (CCC 400).
— Jesus  said, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4–6).
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St. Paul instructed the followers of Christ that “the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Corinthians 7:4) and in an often misquoted passage he told the Christian husband to love his wife “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
    “Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man” (CCC 400).
Jesus commanded nature and nature obeyed, both in healing the sick and calming the storm. He told his disciples, “In my name … they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17–18).
    “Death makes its entrance into human history” (CCC 400). — Jesus raised the dead and was raised from the dead, and promised eternal life to anyone who believed in him, proclaiming himself to be “the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:58).
Knowing what Jesus has done for us will give us a greater appreciation of the Bread of Life that we receive when we approach his altar at every Eucharistic celebration. It is literally a matter of our life or our death!
LIVING THE E UCHARIST
Is your Christian life dominated by the fallen worldview?  Do you strive with the help of the Holy Spirit and the nourishment of the Eucharist to live the new life of the kingdom that Jesus offers?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 8

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From chapter 2 - Serve.  Part 4

G E T T I N G T H E M O S T O U T       O F T H E E U C H A R I S T

If you want to get the most out of the Eucharist you have to check your “I” at the door.The “I” that wants things, that endlessly critiques the way things are done, and  that demands things be done in exactly a certain way (meaning “my way,” not God’s way). I think it was Peter Kreeft who once said that the famous song, “I Did It My Way,” sung by such great artists as Frank Sinatra and Elvis, is the national anthem of hell. The way of the world may be to do things “our way” but the way of Christ is to do things his Way.We therefore consciously have to leave “my way” at the door and in exchange take up an attitude that asks “how may we be of service to you, Lord, in this celebration of the Eucharist?”
THE INSTITU TION OF THE EUCHARIST BY JESUS On Holy Thursday, the day on which the Church celebrates the institution of the Holy Eucharist,the gospel reading for the Mass does not mention Jesus taking bread and wine but rather an act of service that Jesus performed at the Last Supper.The Lord taking bread and wine and declaring it his body and blood is mentioned in the Second Reading for that Mass,but not in the gospel.
The gospel for Holy Thursday is from John’s gospel. It is the story of Jesus rising from the table and shocking his disciples by doing something totally unexpected, washing their feet.
Peter refuses to have his feet washed at first but acquiesces when Jesus tells him that it is necessary if Peter is to have any inheritance in him.
If you are like me, you can relate to Peter.There is something in Peter’s character that perfectly illustrates what we all are like in our fallen nature.We are proud.We want to be in control.We like Jesus, and we want to be part of his crowd, but we also want to tell him what to do.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 7

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From chapter 2 - Serve. Part 3


W H O S E WAY A R E W E P R E PA R I N G ?
Every Sunday when I come to the Eucharist and am confronted by the words inscribed in stone over the entrance of my parish church, “Prepare the way of the Lord,” I am reminded that the first sacrifice I must make at this Mass is my own ego, and as I strive to relinquish the need to be in control of what will happen at this Eucharist I ask, “What does my lord bid his servant?” (Joshua 5:14).
We all face the same struggle. Some of you may protest:
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    “The ushers don’t make me feel welcome in my church.”
    “My parish priest preaches too long.”
    “The musicians in our church are out of control.”
    “People are too loud and talk too much before theEucharist.”
    “The people dress too well or too poorly.”
Each of us, if given the opportunity to share what we think is keeping us from getting the most out of the Eucharist, is apt to come up with our own list. Recently I asked this question online and received a deluge of responses. Many were true abuses of the liturgy,and were worthy of being reported to the diocesan bishop, but just as many were not.
When I shared my amazement at the number of responses with my wife,she very keenly mused,“They all feel helpless,like they have no control.” As soon as she said this I realized that this was exactly the same thing I had heard from priests and musicians, the two groups who are most often the target of the congregation’s ire.Priests who come into a new parish and encounter established ways of doing things with which they do not agree and yet are powerless (at least at first) to change and musicians who are hired to provide a parish with beautiful music yet find themselves restrained by parish staff or established practice to playing pieces they feel are less than worthy of the liturgy often express frustration at their lack of control.
This brings home a point that we do not like to admit: None of us is in control, no matter what our function is in the liturgy. Yet we are all tempted to think that if we were in charge we could make it all perfect.
The greatest suffering that I’ve endured at any celebration of the Eucharist has been the few cases where someone, whether it was the presider, a musician, or, as in several cases, a member of the congregation, thought he or she could  make the liturgy more perfect by his or her own inventions. Here are some examples of this type of behavior, all of which actually happened:
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    An Easter Sunday where a visiting priest tried to woo thecongregation by creating a “Mass” of his own making, never once using the words prescribed by the Church from beginning to end.
    A musician who saw himself as in a battle with the cele-brant and who continually and loudly played music over the presider’s attempts to pray the prescribed prayers of the Church.
    A congregant who screamed out for the priest to stopbecause “no one” —meaning herself — “knew where he was” in the liturgy.
    A congregant who held up a crucifix as he processedtoward the altar to receive the Eucharist and then, after receiving the Eucharist, turned and exorcised the congregation with loud prayers and wild gesticulations of the cross.
Now, you may think of some of these people as being mentally ill, and perhaps some of them were, yet a case could be made that when any of us “lords” it over another we are a little off in the head, especially if we are doing so and claiming to be a follower of Jesus. None of this is new, of course; even in Jesus’s time there were those who sought to take control and lord it over others.Yet Jesus addressed this issue directly,and clearly specified the subservient attitude that would be required of his followers:
Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not be served but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.”
— M ATTHEW 2 0 : 2 5 – 2 8

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 6

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From chapter 1 - Serve. Part 2

T H E L O R D
Jesus told his followers that when they had done all that had been commanded of them they should say:“We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty” (Luke 17:10).
Our lives often are like a field of weeds with pressing concerns that can seem to take priority, but indeed the weeds are not as powerful as they might seem, and remembering who is Lord, Master, and God can help us put everything into perspective.
LE S S O N S LE A R N ED F RO M A T H REE -Y E A R -O L D
Anyone who has a young child has a built-in reminder that coming to the Eucharist requires servitude. Preparations have to be made so that the child will be taken care of during the celebration. Sometimes this means making sure that a child’s prayer or Mass book is in his or her possession. At other times it simply
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means having tissue for a runny nose or having an extra dose of patience to deal with any outburst that might occur. One thing is certain: any parent who has a young child is already bringing the attitude of a servant to the Eucharist. If I get a little too comfortable in the pew and lean back in the posture of a spectator, my three-year-old will pretty quickly remind me that I’m not there to relax but to serve.
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
— LUKE 9 : 4 8

Having a young child in our midst, whether it is our own or someone else’s in the next pew, is a great reminder to us to humble ourselves, that in serving the child we may serve the Lord himself.