Delivering Christ to Others
By Charla Spalluto Misse
My father brought me to Jesus. He brought me to weekly Mass and ensured I received the sacrament of first holy Communion. He served as Eucharistic Minister when I was a teen and modeled deep respect and appreciation for the body and blood of Christ throughout his life.
Given this, you may be surprised that, when he became physically unable to attend Mass in his later years, he did not ask for a visiting extraordinary minister of holy Communion. I have come to understand that many people in his situation are reluctant to ask for help or add burden even when their need is essential.
I was blessed to have realized that not only would my father be receptive, but also that our long-time parish had the resources to send an extraordinary minister to our home. Because the minister happened to schedule his weekday visits during my lunch hour, I joined them during the work day to receive Communion with my father.
Having the opportunity for such an intimate and spiritual experience with a loved one was such an enormous gift.
Now, when I receive communion at Mass, I am often reminded of the deep love and reverence my father showed when he received the host. As a result, my faith has been deepened.
At the time he was ill, I thought it was fitting that I bring Jesus to my father as he had brought me to Christ when I was young … Now, I realize it was the other way around; he, yet again, delivered me to Christ.
As Catholics, we are called to deliver Christ – whether a stranger is hearing the word for the first time or a loved one is quietly longing for his true presence.
Please take a moment to consider whether anyone in your life may be hungry for the “bread of life,” but unable to attend Mass.
Just contact their parish for them, knowing they need your advocacy. Do your best to respectfully facilitate the visit, considering the limitations of both the minister and the one being visited.
Prayerfully consider whether you are being called to visit the sick or homebound yourself. I am forever very grateful to the extraordinary ministers that visited my dad.