Saturday, May 21, 2011

On Being a New Creature: Notes from the East Coast Fraternity Exercises 2011

About 10 last night, we celebrated Mass in a huge meeting room at the Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center, which bills itself as being designed "with the sophisticated traveler in mind." Well, we are a motley crew, some 200 adults of varying ages and stages.  Father Richard Veras, chaplain to Communion and Liberation, reminded us in his homily that what happens in this conference room during consecration is no different than the apostles encounter with Christ during the Last Supper. The upper room, after all, was nothing special, just the second floor room of a restaurant.

As Christians, he said, we want to strive to overcome the distance between what the Apostles felt when talking with Christ at the Last Supper and understanding something monumental and history-changing was about to happen and what we feel and experience at Mass and in our daily lives. Our lives, he said, need to communicate how Christ lives within us - by the radiance on our faces and the intensity with which we gaze on God and one another.

It's a tall order, isn't it? But it's the task of all Christians, I think, to, as Fr. Rich put it, to  cast off the aridity of words, to replace our religiosity with a recognition that Christ is among us, and to let ourselves be generated by Him. This can only happen when we let Christ enter into the day-to-day experiences of our lives.

Great words to meditate on as we headed out in silence, a silence only to be broken by breakfast. But boy, do I miss my family.