Fr. Todd 1/29/2023
Updated: Jan 27
Happy Catholic Schools week! If you can, stop by Sacred Heart School after the 11am Mass this weekend to grab some cookies and walk around. For Alumni it is a great trip down memory lane and I always love hearing the stories. I am so grateful for our school and the ministry we are able to offer for our families.
It is hard to pick my favorite part of the school, from School Masses and classroom visits to kickball tournaments at Recess. One of them though is morning drop off. Most days of the week I join our principal, Anne Atkin, to greet our students and make sure everyone gets in safely from the buses. We laugh with many, hear some good jokes, and say some prayers with others.
There is something so encouraging about those moments. This might sound strange, but I appreciate how it helps me understand Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. We have a need to know that God is close, no matter what happens. This is the cry of every human heart—God, are you here? Are you here with me right now? This desire was built into us by God Himself. The Incarnation was the answer to that built in desire. The Eucharist is the continuation of that answer. There is something primordial about this desire to know that God is close. We don’t want to receive grace and help from afar. As good as those things are, we say at some level of our being—I want You! That is the Eucharist. Jesus completely and totally present to us, reminding us that He is with us. He cannot get much closer. This is the great scandal as He was talking to the Jews in John 6—I want you to eat my flesh and drink my blood. Jesus draws close and gets beat up, chewed up, by His closeness to us. That is how close He is to us in the Eucharist.
Back to our parents at morning drop off. I see our families and parents living a Eucharistic life in their care and sacrifices for their children. Parents who fought the good fight to get their kids out of bed, fed and watered, and then to school. Mom or Dad might still be in their pajamas, but the kids are there. I see Moms and Dads so close to their kids that they are literally chewed on sometimes. This is a Eucharistic life, a life poured out and given away.
Thank you for your sacrifices and love. It is a great honor to work with you in raising your children where faith is incorporated into every part of our life. I see your sacrifices and God sees them. You pour yourself out for your children like Jesus pours Himself out for us. In our crazy world I know making time for God and for Mass can be quite a challenge. Fight for that time! See in the Eucharist how close Jesus is for you. In receiving Him at Mass, receive the strength to do all that love demands of us.
P.S. On a side note. How good family is! Last weekend my twin brother Fr. Gary and I played Pinochle with our 91-year-old grandma and one of our uncles. They came out on top of the 5-game series and we walked away 35 cents poorer. What a treasure these memories are!