I am a cradle Catholic. Looking back over my life at the time, I have taken Mass and especially receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and Adoration for granted. I now cry about that. On Friday, March 18th, 2020, I sat in the first pew at Church in utter shock and silence. We had been preparing all week for this final celebration of public Mass. I cried almost the entire Mass. As Fr. Jeff moved from one part of this most blessed Mass to the next, I wanted time to stop as Fr. Jeff elevated Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, STOP just stop time God, so this will not end. My mind went to a conversation that I had with Fr. Jeff and Fran, a fellow daily Mass parishioner, a few months back about how we can get to another Mass somewhere in the area if we miss Mass. I think the reason I thought of that was how nonchalant I was. Oh, no problem, there are others. That is how it sounded in my head and still sounds this way as I remember it. Flip, causal, careless. Now we are looking at an undermined period with no public in person Masses with Eucharist and Adoration!! I am sure I was not the only one crying that Friday Morning.
Life during the few weeks I was fasting from Holy Communion was empty. You see, I received Jesus daily and sat with Him five days a week for an hour in the Monstrance. I felt like my legs were cut out from under me. My beloved was gone from my life, and I felt the hole. Yes, I hear what some of you are saying, Jesus is always with you, but I tell you I ate His Flesh and drank His Blood and basked in His Presence. NOTHING is the same when you lose that, NOTHING! I had to fight daily to keep on a prayer routine and make sure I watched daily Mass on FB live. I cannot believe what life is like, not receiving Jesus daily and basking in His Glory. No wonder so many souls are lost. This is what I mean by taking Him for granted. I now see with such clarity.
Holy Week approaches and still no word about Mass returning. This is genuinely a lent to remember. The ultimate Fast. For those who do not believe that the Eucharist is really the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you will not understand how devastating this is. I encourage you to attend a Catholic Mass in your area when they resume. Some Catholic Churches are still not open to celebrate public Mass. Jesus said WE must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have life. This really became evident during my fast from receiving the Eucharist. There was a void.
I received a call from Jo Ann, She is in charge of St. Agnes Sacristan volunteers, and I am the Sacristan for the 5:15 Sat Vigil Mass. She informed me, to my great joy, that Fr. Jeff will Celebrate Mass for Holy Week in the Church. She told me the public will not be permitted in. I need to set up for Mass, and I can receive Holy Communion. PRAISE GOD! The date was April 4th, 2020. I cried most of the Mass. I had to be careful with my tears as I operated the video camera that was streaming the Mass live to our FB community. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, I was able to receive my beloved once again! What joy. Even writing these reflections months later, I am crying. For me, this was a wake-up call. I pray to God I never take Him for granted again!
Fr. Jeff celebrated Mass daily in the Church and broadcasted via Facebook. I was able to receive Jesus on Saturdays at the 5:15 Mass because I was the sacristan. If I was not part of that group, I would still be fasting until June 2020 when Bucks County PA was allowed to open Mass to the public. I was there, along with many of my daily Mass friends. We were a happy bunch that first day! The joy in the Church was seen and felt!
To receive Jesus daily transforms you. He has done wonders with me. I can see such growth and development with myself. I don’t want to stop seeing the positive effects He has on me and how that spills out to others. In my weakness, He makes me strong. I come before Him, a broken Christian in need of a Savior, Save me, Lord! I don’t want to fall back into that false sense of security that there will always be a Mass to attend, and I will always be able to receive Holy Eucharist, and I will always have Adoration of the Eucharist. I don’t want to do that again. I look to my beloved to guide me and teach me not to take Him for granted. God Help Me!