For the Greater Glory of God
In today’s gospel we hear Jesus say to his Father, “I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do…I revealed your name…”
Last Sunday, I attended the First Communion Eucharistic celebration of seventy-five 8 year old children. It was a delightful experience. By twos they ceremonially processed into the overflowing church. What began as a solemn procession ended in a colts’ trot and a potential pile-up! At the end of each pew hung a self made banner colorfully decorated with Eucharistic symbols along with the child’s name. As the children filed in they faded into the appropriate pews wiggling for space among their siblings. Each one greeted with loving smiles of parents, grandparents, godparents, friends, family and the community at large. The joy and expectation was contagious and exhilarating. The children were all smiles of joy and anticipation, while the parents were all smiles of congratulations, encouragement, pride and unrestrained love. The Body of Christ was literally a-jitter with eager expectation.
The priests, there were 4 on the altar, initially seemed an after thought. The music was lovely, but still all eyes were on the children who were coming to meet Jesus in a new way. They were not receiving Jesus for the ‘first’ time, but in a new way. They had been appropriately prepared for the significance of Eucharist. For a full year, they had studied and talked about the theology of Eucharist – the body and blood of Jesus and how it could impact their lives. They memorized prayers, sung songs and practiced for the big day. But, more importantly, their loving families, friends, neighborhoods and church community had been preparing them for this day for years. These children had already been enveloped into the loving heart of Jesus.
What I was witnessing was the living Body of Christ. Parents lovingly walking with their children as they continue on their faith journeys. The community, the Body of Christ, actively supporting both parents and children in their respective faith journeys.
The Good news is:
I give glory to the Father when I am his “work”. When I live out my personal vocation within the being of the Body of Christ, I am the Father’s “work”. When I am parent, or am child, or am priest, or friend being Body of Christ, I give glory to God. My being glorifies the Lord.
For one little girl the day ended as she flew down the street on her bike with her white shoes peddling as fast as she could go and her white dress billowing out behind her. Exhilarated and radiant in the full glory of God!
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
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