Over the weekend, God blessed me with the opportunity to be a Eucharistic Minister at my church. Many of you know that I’m trying to strengthen my relationship with God, so I took this as a way to do so. I’ve been Catholic my entire life and have received the Eucharist nearly every Sunday since the 2nd grade, but what I experienced during that 30-minute training opened my eyes to my faith and the world around me.
I have ministered the Body and Blood on several occasions, and it feels like an honor every time. There’s never been an instance when I returned to my pew and felt ordinary. Every time I’m able to minister, I feel transformed. I feel rejuvenated. I feel connected to my faith in a unique way.
I always thought that this was because I was performing a duty to Christ, and that’s partially true, but the Father shared an enlightening perspective with me this weekend. In serving as a Eucharistic Minister, I’m helping him and the deacon in their ministries. These two individuals have a responsibility and a call to minister Jesus to the members of the community, but could you imagine how long it would take them to serve communion to everyone at Mass? My church is very small, but what if I went to a mega-church? We would be there for hours!
As a Eucharistic Minister, I serve as an extraordinary minister, helping the Father and deacon do what they are called to do. When the Father put it that way, I got chills. These men go to school for years and have one of the deepest connections with our Lord, and I get to help them share that connection with others…how cool is that!
After I left the church, I began thinking about that connection and how it can translate into every day relationships. Think about all of the social engagements we have every day. Sure, there are the ones that come to mind immediately like the morning greeting of our spouse and children, the phone call to our parents, and the interactions we have with our friends. Chances are we already value those and consider them a two-way street.
But what about the other interactions we have? How deeply do we cherish the quick conversation with the cashier at Publix? Do we ever stop to think about the person who is trying to merge into traffic or is walking behind us obviously struggling to carry a heavy load? What about the homeless person asking for help on the side of the road?
Chances are we probably don’t want to admit the way we respond in those situations because if they were a test of our character, most likely we’d fail.
But this weekend I learned that every interaction we have is a chance to serve others. Just like being a Eucharistic Minister is my chance to serve my community and help the priest and deacon, holding the door for someone is a chance for you to make their day a little brighter. When your coworker passes by and asks how you are, it’s a chance for you to also ask how they are. How often do we respond “good” and just keep walking without batting an eye?
But it can go even further than this. Let me give you an example. Every time I drive somewhere more than 45 minutes away, I pray the rosary by following along to a podcast I have on my phone. Sure, I’m giving time to God and I don’t have to be doing it, but is that the optimum time for me to be honoring Him? So often I find myself going through the motions and not paying attention to what I’m praying. It’s easy to understand why. Driving requires me to pay attention and anticipate potential hazards. I can’t be doing that and praying wholeheartedly at the same time.
So, when I got the opportunity this week to actually sit down and pray the rosary at Catholic Bulls Night, I got a totally different feeling than I do when I’m in the car. Why? Because I was fully present. I was able to hold the rosary and follow along with the beads. I was able to close my eyes and envision what it was that I was saying. I was able to picture the mysteries of the rosary actually happening. I was able to do that because I gave importance to the relationship I was having with Mary. I can’t do that unless I’m completely focused.
So, I’ll say it again: every interaction we have is a chance for us to give ourselves to someone else. It’s a chance for us to make their day, to be the people God put us on this Earth to be. You might not be able to listen to everyone’s problems or be the Savior of the world, but you can be that one voice, that one hand that someone really needs today. You can be that person that went the extra mile to make someone else’s day just a little bit easier. Chances are you’re recalling a time when someone did that for you right about now. People like that are the ones who stand out in our minds. Consequently, those people are the ones who are on the road to true happiness.
That’s because the moment we give more meaning to our relationships is the moment we grow exponentially in our quest to become the best versions of ourselves.
So this week, let’s serve others by viewing our relationships and interactions as chances to impact others. Let’s go the extra mile to make someone’s day. Let’s be the people God calls us to be.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. I’ll talk to you next week 🙂
“Father, Help me to have a positive attitude in any situation so that people are encouraged because of the time they spend with me. Amen.”