Sunday, January 22, 2012

Withered Hands and Souls

The other day I was having one of those hot mess kinda days. You know, the day when all you seem to do is make one dumb decision after another. In my case, I was all over the spectrum of ridiculousness, and the train of herp-a-derp started the night before.

Fast forward to the next morning. As I hurriedly drove to work, I had two things on my mind: send that email as soon as I walked in the door and go to daily Mass.

I plopped into the chair, and as I was composing my email, I thought, maybe I shouldn't go to Mass today. After all, I had made some poor decisions and didn't think I should go to Mass. I was awful that day.

I put that thought temporarily out of my mind as I scurried down the hall to the chapel. In spite of my efforts, I was still a tad bit late.

Great, I thought. Another reason why I shouldn't be here. But it was too late for me to do anything about it. I couldn't really bring myself to walk up and leave, disturbing everybody yet again.

When it came time for his homily, Father Julius made a few funnies and then spoke about the importance and beauty of the Eucharist. It was a refreshing reminder of just how crucial and wonderful a gift it is to receive.

He also offered his reflection on that day's Gospel reading, which was about the man with the withered hand. He said something that I wasn't expecting and will never forget.

In his beautiful accent, Fr. Julius told us that, "You may not cure a withered hand, but you may help cure a withered soul."

I was blown away. That was something that I absolutely needed to hear. I mean, how much more honest and beautiful and amazing can that statement get? Jesus can cure withered hands and souls. We cannot literally cure a withered hand. But what we can do is help cure each other's withered souls. Because we've all got them. I was a shining example of one that day. And every day for that matter.

That night, with Fr. Julius' words still in my thoughts, I read my prayer/reflection, which was centered on the following:
Just as the living Father sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so whoever eats Me will live because of Me. -John 6:57

"The Holy Eucharist is a fire that purifies and consumes all our miseries and imperfections. Do everything in your power to make yourself worthy of the Eucharist, and this Divine Fire will take care of the rest." -St. Hyacinth of Mariscotti
At Mass, I felt the power behind these words: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Oh how unworthy I was...and am.

But oh how beautiful it is to be consumed by the Eucharist, to be cleansed of imperfections, to be loved by God, to help one another cure withered souls.

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