God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Eucharistic People, A Loving People


Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet. By Ford Madox Brown, Via Wikipedia

Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet.
By Ford Madox Brown, Via Wikipedia

One early morning several years ago, on the radio I heard a father tell a story about his son, home from college on a semester break.  According to the father, the young man with his hair reaching down to his shoulders, his shirt unbuttoned and with no shoes, went to church services with his parents on a Sunday Morning.

On the way home from the church of their faith, no particular one received mention in the story,  the collegian came up with a profound conclusion.  With a  faraway look in his eye, perhaps one of disappointment, the young man spoke quietly.  “You certainly can tell who the Christians are in Church on Sunday morning.”  On his coming into church, some had openly rejected him, while others deliberately gave him the cold shoulder, moving away from him when he sat in their section.  However, a number of people welcomed him with a smile and a friendly nod of their heads.

At the Last Supper, after washing the feet of His disciples, a humble work of love, Jesus spoke, “As I have done, so also you do to others.”  Shortly afterwards, He gave them and all to come after them, the Eucharist.  Jesus knew how difficult the work of being a loving person would be.

Maybe the present day churches have many empty seats because the modern day disciples of the Lord do not show enough of a loving spirit to the world about them.  Young people might say, “What good does the Eucharist do?  I don’t see church-goers any more charitable then those who never receive the Eucharist.”  Perhaps we do not emphasize enough to ourselves what the first effect of the Holy Eucharist should be, namely a growth in love.

To cite a few examples of love going out to others that I have witnessed as a parish Priest.  An auto struck a 12 year old boy riding his bicycle.  In the hospital he hung between life and death, so his parish called a prayer service for his well-being.  700 people came to pray.

At Sunday Mass, the parish Priest announced, “Virginia L—- will be buried tomorrow morning.  She had no living relatives.  Since it is likely that no one will be at her funeral Mass, if you can, please come.  80 parishioners came the next day for her Mass of the Resurrection.

The night of and the days following the attacks of 9/11, our churches were filled with people from all walks of life, crying, praying, singing together for a common cause.

The Eucharist should make us a loving people.  If outsiders saw our church filled with love, cheerfulness and concern for all, they would come in droves to be in such a place.  They would say, “What’s going on there?  We want some part of that action!”

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35

Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 30, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Great story, Fr. George. I thank you for sharing. Bill Laude

    Comment by William F. Laude | July 30, 2016 | Reply

  2. A Canadian Priest friend of mine told how he was assigned to a parish and spent three days sleeping in the park and was dirty, smelly and disheveled. He went to his new church and after taking his seat was asked by an usher to leave because others around him were offended. He left. He came back the following Sunday to be installed as the new Pastor, and after a wonderful homily and as a clean, good-looking and intelligent priest the parishioners came up to him after Mass to tell him how thrilled they were to have him. The next Sunday he told the community the story and how he had been rejected when he first came, and accepted when he returned. He said nothing more, but the message was clear. That was more than 20 years ago and I still remember that homily.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 30, 2016 | Reply

  3. Hi Fr. George,

    Thank you for that wonderful blog post! It is SO true – it seems like the parishioners can be so off-putting, it doesn’t make one feel very welcome. I’m someone who is fairly new to the parish and there is a definite ‘pecking-order’ of who gets any acknowledgment, even from the pastor. People are people, no matter what their occupation, I guess.

    I have such fond memories of attending a few masses that you presided over at Midway Airport chapel – and you were so genuine in your welcoming of us after mass – a mix of travelers and workers, not too many of us, but each one of us the same in your eyes. I bought your book after one of those masses (Wisdom and Humor from the Pulpit) and asked you to sign it.. I treasure my copy and have, as you know, given many copies out to those I felt could benefit from it… I know it helped me and my sweet mom, who loved hearing one after another of “Father George stories”. The memory of it makes me smile as I write this.

    You have impacted my life in countless ways, my dear friend. You are responsible for my return to the faith – and it has grown deeper in the 8 years since I have met you! What better gift can one person give another? I am indebted to you for that wonderful gift, Fr. George!

    I pray that you are doing well, I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to catch you on the phone – hopefully soon! Just know that I love you and pray for you often…. you are a blessing to all who have ever met you, or read your rich writings.

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | August 1, 2016 | Reply

  4. I was reading one of van Zeller’s books recently in which he emphasizes the reality of Christ’s love being a driving force in Christians. Your post reminds me of that truth from scripture: “The love of Christ compels us.” As an act of love, we may choose, to demonstrate our love for Christ, by saying a kind word to a store clerk, for example, or Christ’s love, itself, may like a driving wind move us into action to reach out to whomever He chooses. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Ed Miskovic QN '64 | August 4, 2016 | Reply


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