Friday, June 04, 2010

"Antidote to Mediocrity" (by Msgr. Thomas Wells)

Tonight, 6-7 pm at the Newman Center: Holy Hour for the men to be ordained priests of Washington and for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Please join us!!
This Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi which celebrates the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ. For many of us Catholics, it is the greatest feast of the year because the Eucharist is the greatest treasure in the Church. One of the most inspiring examples of faith in and love for the Eucharist I’ve ever seen was Msgr. Thomas Wells. The 10th anniversary of Fr. Wells’ death is this Tuesday, June 8. Here is one of his writings (June 14, 1998) about the feast of Corpus Christi from the book, “From the Pastor’s Desk”:

Mediocrity. I guess that is where I most see the remains of sin in my life. Thank God, I do not sin mortally, but the quality of my response to God’s goodness and His call is like the Caps early season mediocrity. I am called to so much; I give so little: mediocrity. It is not exactly a consolation to me, but I do recognize that I am not alone in this self-evaluation. Often I hear people speak about how much more they should be loving their spouses or children – and they are right. I mean, if we are called to be signs of the goodness of God to those around us, who can say, “Boy, they sure are blessed to have me as their father.” We all fall short; and often we fall short simply because we do not go beyond the acceptable or the minimum: we are mediocre. And, really, is there any way out of it?

The “Yes” that is the answer to that question is one of the reasons why the Eucharist is the gift it is in Catholic life. Pay attention to some of the lines we hear Sunday after Sunday: “We thank You for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve You.” “Grant that we, who are nourished by His body and blood, may be filled with His Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit, in Christ.” The point is that, to the extent that we open ourselves to the Eucharist, we become as individuals and community, more than we are. We see our mediocrity – and we are right! – but God sees His people and works through us so that we become, in His Spirit, more of what He would have us be.

On today’s Feast of Corpus Christi – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – we worship the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. It is truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Lord whom I receive in Communion. “My Lord and my God,” we rightly pray as the Host and chalice are raised. The equally great miracle though, is that we become what we eat. The antidote to the sin and mediocrity of our lives is the Body of Christ. If we eat His Body with faith; if we recognize Him under the signs of bread and wine, His Spirit will gradually make us like Himself. Surely, we will continue to see our pitiful response to God; faith, however, reminds us that in His time and in His way, we are becoming what the Body of Christ, the Church is meant to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that Msgr Wells has been gone for 10 years. His death was a terrible loss. The impact he had was proven by the fact that Sacred Heart was stuffed to the rafters at his funeral Mass.