Wednesday, November 26, 2014

That's Where Jesus Is

Before the mass readings began, the priest called up the small children to the front of the altar; they were about to leave for a separate Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  Usually, Fr. Ed asks the children to “face Jesus in the tabernacle and genuflect,” before leaving the church proper.  But this Sunday was different.
He looked at the young children gathered before him and asked:  “Who knows what the tabernacle is?”  A small voice answered: “That’s where Jesus is.”  Fr Ed answered: “That’s right.”  Then he told the young toddlers: “Come on, follow me up here,” as he walked up the altar steps and around to behind the altar, in front of the tabernacle.  He paused there as the kids (and some parents) followed behind.  He smiled.  “They’re all kneeling,” he said softly to the people in the church who could not see.  “Parents, I’m proud of you,” he beamed.
He then proceeded to explain to the children a lesson on what the tabernacle was, how Jesus is in there, contained in the form of the host.  And then he asked: “Who’s looking forward to receiving their first communion next year?”   A number of hands were raised.  “And Jesus is looking forward to coming to you then too, but for now you’ll just go and listen to His words.”  And the he handed the Bible off to the leader of the children’s liturgy, who led them off to their own meeting room.
It was a pleasant start to the mass.
Last Sunday was the solemnity of Christ The King, a special feast day for Christ The King parish, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Naturally, Fr. Ed’s homily focused on that topic.  He mentioned the deadly sins, and especially pride, anger, and lust, as areas in which Satan holds sway over us.  He said that to make our lives into the image and likeness of Jesus, as we were created to be, we need to renounce Satan, as we did at Baptism, and make Christ the King of our lives.  That’s what is celebrated this day.  He is our King, and it is up to us to make that personal, to dedicate ourselves to Him.  To do this, we have lots of supports:  our parish family, the liturgy, and Jesus Himself in the Eucharist, always present in the tabernacle.
That’s where Jesus is.
Fr. Ed continued to talk and mentioned the movie and the book Heaven Is For Real.  Then ….
Well, in a day or so you can listen to his entire Sunday homily here:
It’s worth a listen.
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Happy Thanksgiving to all who might be glancing at this post.  I am in Arizona visiting my nieces and their children, and meeting Annie’s 6-year old twins for the first time.  They are adorable kids; I am so proud of Annie and her husband, Don.  They know how to raise children.
Tomorrow we’ll celebrate Annie’s birthday on Thanksgiving day, at Rose’s house with an army of friends and relatives.  I am so blessed, and I pray that you are also.

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