This week there were a number of events in the parish associated with the gathering of large numbers of Catholics, in particular for the Eucharistic celebration. The discussions and presentations were a part of Claire Aalerud’s discussion of upcoming youth programs, and the dialog in the Photography and Poetry retreats which started this week. (By the way, there are still openings on the Thursday program if you know of anyone who may be interested).
The assembly of large numbers of Catholic at a Eucharistic celebration has to be experienced to be believed. The effect of presence of the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit when thousands are present at World Youth Day, or a Catholic college campus event is just amazing. The feeling of the presence of God is palpable. We know from scripture when “two or more are gathered in my name” that God is with us. What happens when hundreds or even thousands are there something else occurs.
As the Jesuit mystic Telliard de Chardin noted the Incarnation is realized in each individual, through the Eucharist. “All the communions of a life-time are one communion. All the communions of all men now living are one communion. All of the communions of all men, present, past and future, are one communion.”
The power of this communion with reinforced each day as the Catholic Church worldwide celebrates 350,000 Masses. An astonishing outpouring of grace. Unstoppable grace to refuel us all in the world for another day.
Today, as we are grateful for the Eucharist in our parish, let us make a point this year to try and find a “huge” Eucharistic gathering to attend. If you have never done it, try it, you will not regret it. The grace is something you can almost taste; as you are at once surrounded by likeminded souls, all trying to meet a single goal. To move closer to God.