I pray you are well. Thank you for your prayers and various ways of being supportive. A year ago May 1st I was new here at St. Isidore (though having spent the previous nine years in Shelby Twp. and Utica). The six weeks up to May 1 we have not seen much of each other! Certainly in one or many ways we’ve “missed Mass” with such differences as not receiving Communion in the “normal” manner. Yet, are we therefore completely missing God and the Son of God Jesus Christ? Is it possible to still be “in Communion” with and close to the living God of all that is (and in union with God’s people)? Yes, through varied means.
Our normal living is upended these days. Yet, as many ask: what’s normal, and what’s abnormal? Is normal simply two typical guys, one being Norm and the other Al?😬 Are you finding the word normal sometimes confusing? I find the word usual to be helpful, as in ‘business as usual’, and often now we hear of “a new normal is coming.” Normal has a shouldbe meaning with it, because it’s rooted in the word norm, meaning rule or standard. Usual connotes those routines and rituals normal for ourselves not necessarily normal for others. But!, some norms are universal, like not lying, stealing and killing, instead being honest, generous and life-giving.
Human living involves being adaptive. Adaptation is usually/normally difficult! As far as we can tell, every form of life on earth either adapts or goes extinct! The Bible’s Book of Genesis says humans are made in the image and likeness of God. And since God adapts himself to be close to us, so too we can be adaptive in a conscious and loving manner toward ourselves and others. The great gift our Lord Jesus we call the Mass, is also called the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Eucharist, the Sacred Liturgy, the Banquet of Christ’s sacrifice, et.al. The living memorial of Jesus Christ, the celebration of the Mass, is itself the great example of our Lord adapting Himself to us and for us, which we may practice usually and normally but is actually miraculous in every instance. Thus we are assured that God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and their Holy Spirit of love are eager to connect with us and adapt to our new situation of need and want.
This quality of the Lord is normal and usual!We’re experiencing some abnormal and unusual. There’s space within us made for God’s presence. God seeks not to control us like robots programmed, much less bully us into submission. As we keep using our freedom to invite through our prayers God’s Son Jesus Christ to be our Communion, He will continue to adapt for us like water filling the shape in the jar. The organized practices of the Church are hampered for a time but Jesus is not. As he tells us in Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it will be given unto you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. And, conveeeeniently!, and providentially for May 17 the 6th Sunday of Easter, from John’s Last Supper account, Ch.14, Jesus promises: “…I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth…you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.” (We could add: no matter what!). Continuing:”you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.”
Be at peace. Next letter let’s look specifically at that Real Presence of Christ with us especially in the Eucharist.
Fr. Matt Ellis