God reveals His love in the people, places and moments of our lives that bring us to an encounter of connectedness. Recently, one such moment in my life was the First Holy Communion of my nephew Aidan at St. Brigid Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.
In this diverse and culturally rich community, the children and their families came together to form a bond through prayer and preparation for the sacrament. As I listened to the family talk about this meaningful bond, I recognized anew that it is not by coincidence that Jesus chose the setting of a meal to teach the disciples that in life’s simple and routine moments—like sitting at the table together—we encounter one another, and in that encounter we see the face of God.
In today’s modern world, not unlike the world of the early Christians, this encounter is not limited to the walls of a church, but more likely to be defined by unexpected people in surprising places. It may be in familiar places such as work or school, and in and through the relationships we have there, that we find ourselves most deeply connected to God’s love. Or perhaps it is when we go beyond ourselves, beyond the familiar and into a place where we are uncomfortable by whom we meet, what we see, hear, smell and taste that we feel most acutely God’s everlasting compassion. Maybe it is through the daily struggles and joys in the midst of our families that we get a glimpse of God’s love.
Just as the early Church struggled to understand itself as Christian, we are called to be people of faith at all times and in all places with all people, though our culture tells us that our faith life is reserved for Sunday mornings. The Eucharist reminds us that Jesus’ death and resurrection fills all things with His presence. In the unity of the Spirit we have the strength and courage to go out into the
world with His message of hope and love.
As I think about my nephew and his fellow communicants coming to the Table of the Lord for the first time, I am reminded that we are living members of the Church and that in this unity we will share everlasting life. I am inspired by their searching, by their courage to put their faith into action. May we all have the faith of the children to move beyond ourselves and towards one another.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28