Today’s Gospel: Luke 9, 51-56 – St. Vincent de Paul
In today’s reading, the Samaritans “would not receive [Jesus], because his face was set toward Jerusalem.” Jesus didn’t look or act like the Samaritans thought the Son of God should act.
How many times have we been too distracted by critical thoughts of a priest or parish during Mass, so much so that we do not receive Christ with a right heart in the Eucharist? We indulge ourselves in being critical of thick accents, so-so homilies, strange (to us) liturgical preferences, or too-this or too-that music. We let ourselves be distracted from the fact that each of our priests celebrates the mass in persona Christi, every time.
Priests are vessels of grace for us, and no matter what their human faults, God works through them in the celebration of the Eucharist by the unimaginable grace that covers their vocation. The incredible self-gift of Christ in the Eucharist cannot be improved upon by excellent music selections, a great homily, or even a priest who in that moment is far closer to saint than sinner.
One of the greatest treasures of our Catholic faith is that Christ chooses to be fully present to us in the Eucharist, every mass, every time. To receive what He wants to give us, all He asks of us is a humble and contrite heart— a heart than can focus on what really matters.
When have you had critical thoughts or opinions about priests or their parishes? When have those thoughts been legitimate concerns, and when have they been simply your personal difference of opinion? Make a list of any priests or parishes you have been critical of in the past, and make it a point today to pray and also to make a small sacrifice for their sanctity — and yours.
Dear Jesus, please help me take captive every thought or opinion which is not of you, particularly when I am at Mass. Help me to respect and to encourage your holy priests. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Erin Franco
Erin Franco is a Catholic wife and stay-at-home mother of three. She blogs at Humble Handmaid, hosts her own podcast, “The Right Heart,” is a regular contributor to her local Catholic radio station, and has been a regular contributor for CatholicMom.com since 2011. You can learn more about Erin at ErinFranco.com.