I recently attended a random church service at a local thrift shop. I know, funny combo, but its the truth. It was simple, it was bare-bones, and it was fun singing with a big group of people. It was a nice get together of people loving Jesus--and I don't mean to belittle that, fellowship together with other Christians is important, VERY important. Throughout the 45-minute service, my eyes wandered around the alter and kept coming back to a large gold chalice and two silver plates which sat on the floor as if waiting to be used. They were, frankly, the most beautiful things on the alter, everything else being rather shabby and pieced together. It was a thrift store after all! Nothing wrong there.
But as the service drew to a close, that chalice and those plates remained empty, unused. I found myself feeling empty myself. It didn't feel right that they were simply decorative. Just props for show. Something was missing. Something important.
Now you all know I am Catholic, and very happy Catholic, so you know whats coming next!
I left the store and the service with an unfulfilled longing. I had sung about Jesus and spoke with him in my heart through prayer and the Bible readings, but I longed for him to enter into my heart the way only He can do in The Eucharist. That feeling of contentment and rightness which I only find in the moments and hours following that ancient tradition of consuming Him in his Body and Blood. I couldn't get it out of my head! I NEEDED HIM. It was a longing I couldn't quench.
So, what do I do? And what are we so privileged to be able to do here in Orange County where daily Mass is offered in countless places throughout the day? We dropped in on a mass. And I was fulfilled. To the brim. We sang similar songs during the service (mass) and dare I say it, there were even more Bible readings then at the "Bible Christian" service. But my heart was happy and contented. I had come "HOME". I left with Jesus truly and wholly INSIDE me, and it altered me for the thousandth time in my life, they way Only He can do when I receive Him. Oh how GOOD HE IS!