Kneelers have been placed near the Sanctuary for the reception of Holy Communion. Our Sunday Gospels of late are coming from John, chapter 6, known as the Bread of Life Discourse. The Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption interrupts the John 6 reading, but also gives us an additional lens by which to reflect on the Eucharist and Mother Mary.
Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
“As we worship, so we believe, so we live.”
This ancient expression in the Church describes why we worship the way we do. Our outward worship as Catholics is to model our firmly held inward beliefs. This differentiates us from most Protestants Christian denominations where the primary focus is upon song and sermon – and they can definitely sing and preach!!! The Mass, however, is about worshiping God with the whole person – heart, mind, body, and soul – in ways that convey the Truths He has revealed to us in the way He commanded us to Worship Him (I Corinthians 11: 23-26; Mark 14: 22-24; Matthew 26: 25-29; and Luke 22: 13-20). Mary worshiped God with her whole body, evening ‘making room’ for the Lord in her womb. Are we so open to making room in and with the whole of our selves? If we truly believe that Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Creator of the Universe and Judge of our souls, gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, how would we wish to come before Him? St Paul tells us in Romans 14:11 that before God, “every knee shall bow.” Kneeling conveys to all around us, and ourselves, that we are not worthy. “Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof” (Matthew 8:8). But out of His love for us, Jesus gives Himself anyway! Kneeling is one way to show reverence and profound respect for what is happening as we take Christ Himself into ourselves.
I know many folks who attend Mass simply cannot kneel to receive, as injuries, age, and ailments may prevent you. That is ok! This is simply a devotion to be more attentive to Jesus Christ Truly Present in the Eucharist. Even when the norm was to receive Holy Communion kneeling at an altar rail, those who could not kneel stood at the rail to receive. Yet, if you can, I strongly encourage you to try kneeling at the kneelers to receive Communion. It may not bring a mystical experience of the Lord, but it will require you to think of the Lord you are blessed to experience.
Saint John Paul II, in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia ("The Church comes from the Eucharist"), wrote in n. 61: “By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift. We are urged to do so by an uninterrupted tradition, which from the first centuries on has found the Christian community ever vigilant in guarding this ‘treasure.’ Inspired by love, the Church is anxious to hand on to future generations of Christians, without loss, her faith and teaching with regard to the mystery of the Eucharist. There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for ‘in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation.’”
I have my first College of Deans meeting with the Archbishop and the other deans on Tuesday, August 17 in Indianapolis. I would appreciate your prayers for me and all those gathered as we discuss the well-being and pastoral needs of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In all things, may the Holy Spirit guide our discussions, discernment, and decisions.
Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA)
Inquiry Info Session
on Wednesday, August 18 at 6p
in the Parish Office conference room.
Holy Family, Centered on the Bread of Life, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries