I was quietly watching the Consecration at Mass, my arm holding my seven-year-old as though his exhaustion was causing him to melt into the floor. Seven is so very exhausting! <sigh> My daughter was half paying attention, which was an improvement from last year when she was preparing for First Communion. I hardly think we can expect our kids to get what’s happening in this beautiful moment when we ourselves don’t fully understand it and, for many of us, don’t give Him half the attention and adoration we should.
The silence was broken by a young boy in the pew behind me. We all have moments or stories of hearing a perfectly hilarious moment of silence broken by a child in Mass. For me, when it was my kid, it was perfectly embarrassing, but that’s perhaps for another time, or never.
The priest was about to hold the Host above his head when the little boy shouted, “It’s almost time for the Bread line!”
There were some muffled chuckles and his mother graciously reacted without anger. I commend her and strive for the same. God bless her! I also commended the congregation for maintaining the quietness needed in the moment. (Oh the stories priests have!) He was quiet after that but the line repeated itself in my mind.
This was also the day Mother Teresa was being officially canonized a saint. Her life, which you can read about here, was about helping those in greatest need, those who had nothing. Remember hearing about breadlines as a child? I used to have an image of people in a poor, dusty, remote place I’ve never seen, looking dirty, wearing rags, and desperately waiting in a mile long line for a loaf of bread for their families. The bread would be unwrapped, plain, and very homemade, which was nothing like the bread my mother bought at the local Purity Supreme.
The Gospel (Luke 14:25-33) was about putting God first, even above your family. The wording seemed harsh to read, as though Jesus wanted us to hate our parents when we’d been told to honor them, but our priest cleared that up quite well. Fr. Augustin explained that Jesus wants us to love everyone, and not to treat our family members special by avoiding what is right. Perfect example: helicopter parenting. If a child is wrong, a helicopter parent will want to defend him anyway, but a parent who is righteous will accept that his child is in the wrong and look for justice in the situation, in a loving way if the parent puts God first. I could do a whole article just on that, but you get the idea.
Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, always put God first above all else. In doing so, she loved all and helped all in all that she did. She was devout to Christ; because of that very state of devoutness, she became a saint for her works of mercy. How would our lives change if we could put God first in all things? Would we realize we favor certain things or people too much? Would we change our actions, our words, our very nature?
Okay, here’s where the Bread line comes in. I didn’t go off track – promise! The world, as a whole, is starving for Christ, whether or not everyone acknowledges it. We need Him; there is no nourishment the world can offer that can compare. Just so, we stand in line at Communion waiting our turn to receive Him in the form of the Bread of Life. We are a people who is in a remote (from Heaven), desolate, dusty place called Earth. We are dressed in the rags of life, the things the world has sold us that are worthless in the next life. We are starving, our souls in need of Christ whether we know it or not. We need Him, His Love, His Grace, His Mercy, His Forgiveness. We need Christ. We need the Bread line.