I wonder how many Catholics realize that Jesus is physically present within us for about twenty minutes after we receive Communion. If we did, maybe that would change our actions after mass. Think about it! You’re probably beeping or yelling at Jesus to hurry up in the parking lot. If you’re quick or run out right after Communion you’re bringing Jesus to the convenience store to get your coffee and paper. You know the one with all the sleazy magazines that you really can’t avoid.
If you really understood would you be rushing to Dunkin Donuts or the grocery or be so quick to talk to people about the weather or ball game? Would you be rushing to the ball game? How would you feel if you were Jesus and someone you loved rushed off to Food Lion or to talk to his buddies about golf?
Think about all the things you see people do after mass. There are those who walk out complaining that the homily was too long. There are those who walk out gossiping about what so and so were wearing. Then there are those in such a hurry they practically run over you. People do these things while Jesus is still physically present. What happened to reverence for the Lord and spending time with Jesus?
What does Jesus think of all this? There is a book of private revelation called God’s Blue Book put out by the Shepherds of Christ and available through the Internet. For your information the church’s position on private revelation is that we do not have to believe it but it will be condemned if it contradicts church doctrine. Before publication this book was read by a Jesuit priest, Father Ed Carter, who found nothing that contradicts the Catholic faith. In it are letters from Jesus to the faithful given to Rita Ring. I’ve read all the letters and have not found anything that contradicted what I know about the Catholic faith. I have found a lot that has also been written in other books written about the Eucharist. These books were written by priests and famous Catholic writers and theologians. The major difference is that this book claims to be the words of Christ.
What does He say? Over and over again He talks about how much He loves us. He loves us so much He suffered the Passion. That wasn’t enough for Him. He loved us so much He wanted to be physically available to us in the Eucharist and in the Tabernacle. He is really present in the Eucharist and waits longing for us to come to receive Him and be with Him. He longs to pour graces upon our souls. He longs for us to sit with Him and spend time with Him. He longs for us to come to Him with our problems. In the book He practically begs people to come to Him. He has all we really need and He longs to bless us.
The time after receiving is such a special time. He wants us to focus on Him, to be alone with Him, putting aside all the distractions and spend the time with Him. Bring Him all our needs and just be silent. Tell Him that we love Him. Pray for the people we love. We can tell Him any and every thing we want. We can give Him all our worries, put them in His hands and trust Him to do what is best. Be with Him. Focus on Him and our relationship with Him. We don’t have to talk the whole time just be with Him.
It is such a powerful time that I wonder about even the practice of parishes that say the daily rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet right after weekday mass. On the one hand what more powerful time could there be to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet and ask the Father to have mercy on the world. You have Jesus Himself praying with you. Jesus Himself recommended the prayer. Could there be a more powerful time to say the Rosary for life or for the conversion of sinners?
The best I can figure is to try to be more aware of His presence at that time. Either wait a few minutes longer to begin or be more reverent and prayerful as you assemble. Save the socializing for after you finish. I know in many parishes you can’t wait because people have to leave for work.
I think we all have to try to be more aware of His presence inside us and stay whenever it is possible. If possible stay in the church. But even if we have to leave we can stay in prayer as much as possible while we drive. I know several times I left after communion in order to get to the intensive care unit on time to visit my mom. I continued to pray as I drove. I also know several Catholic school teachers who at times had to leave right after Communion to get to work on time. You do the best that you can. I remember an old priest Father Frank who often began mass with the statement that God is pleased that you made the sacrifice to be there. He is pleased as long as we try to be with Him as long as we can.
Lord, I thank You for your love. I thank You that You love me so much to make Yourself available to me in the Eucharist. Help me to respond to Your love and stay with You in Communion as long as I can. Help me to always remember Your presence and be as reverent as possible. Amen