Taking the Eucharist for Granted

September 16, 2022

Aligning with the 2022-2025 National Eucharistic Revival, St. Pius X Parish has moved the tabernacle into the sanctuary – a visible reminder of what brought us to the church. The following is a brief reflection I wrote back in 2011, recognizing how I, at times, take the gift of the Eucharist for granted:

I have several pictures in my office. They capture my family at various stages of our lives together. There is one picture I received as a Christmas gift that sits on my desk. It is my all-time favorite. It is just a simple picture of my grandson, Joseph, sitting on my daughter’s lap. It was taken as Joseph gazed at his mom with a look that said, “You are so awesome!” I cherish the fact that I have evidence of this loving bond.

I was at a gathering at a local restaurant recently, talking with colleagues and waiting for my wife, Carol, to arrive. I finished a conversation, and as I turned I saw her enter the room. My heart raced and I actually had butterflies. I was struck by how beautiful she was (I married way out of my league) and reminded just how much I love her…still.

How Joseph and I respond to the women in our lives came to mind as I read through some materials on the Eucharist. One article I read asked: Why do we process detached and disinterested toward the altar to receive Holy Communion, yet would hardly be able to contain ourselves if we saw our favorite movie or TV star sitting in one of the pews?  Why does the anticipation of receiving the Eucharist pale in comparison to the anticipation we feel when we are handed a gift? Why do we consume Holy Communion and not feel nourished, but push our chairs away from the Thanksgiving table completely satisfied?

I had a twinge of guilt as I realized I take the gift of the Eucharist for granted. I should feel the genuine awe my grandson feels when he gazes at his mother. My heart should race and I should have butterflies in anticipation of receiving Christ in the Eucharist. I should not only feel nourished after Holy Communion, but transformed and prepared to take this living Presence out to the world.

I am going to try to do better. I will say “Amen” when taking Holy Communion, but what I will really be thinking is “You are so awesome!” I will fail at times, but the Eucharist is just too special of a gift to take for granted.

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