Awkward Liturgical Moment #88: You are in line to receive Holy Communion when you realize you know the Eucharistic Minister ahead, and you feel like changing lines to avoid that I-should-be-focusing-on-Jesus-but-feel-the-need-to-acknowledge-you-seeing-as-we-know-one-another-in-some-capacity thing.
Well, anyway, I do that.
A few weeks ago at Mass quite the opposite thing happened. I received the Eucharist from an elderly Eucharistic Minister I did not know, a woman with soft white hair, a slight slump of the shoulders, gentle grey eyes and a flowered blouse.
“The Body of Christ,” she said, softly, slightly, gently.
After Mass, I stopped by the grocery store. I was busy averting my eyes from the white chocolate bars on the end cap when I ran into the woman. She was pushing a cart out of the pickle aisle.
I must have passed dozens of people in the aisles without realizing it. But this was different. As I recognized her a great joy welled up inside me and I had to stop myself from shouting, “I received Christ from you! Thank you!”
I smiled, and she smiled, and we went on our way. She to the meats. I to the pickles.
And I reflected that maybe my spontaneous joy at our encounter needs to happen with more people, more often. Maybe this teaches me something about how I should pass every person in the grocery store, the apartment complex, the airport bathroom. I received Christ from you. Thank you.