I stepped forward without much thought to receive the Eucharist as the priest said, “The Body of Christ."
“Amen,” I answered as he placed the wafer in my mouth. I made the sign of the cross and moved toward the minister holding the cup.
“The Blood of Christ,” she said.
“Amen.” I reached for it, but then stopped mid-reach.
“What am I doing?” the thought flashed into my mind. “Do you realize you just now received the holy Body of our Savior?”
My mind focused on that image.
People began stacking up behind me, so I quickly sipped Christ’s Blood and moved toward my pew. But the moment stayed with me.
“What am I doing?”
When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord, he fell on his face in fear (Isaiah 6:5). When Moses approached God in the bush aflame with Holy Presence, he removed his sandals and “hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:5-6). When St. John saw the risen and glorified Christ, he fell to the ground as if dead (Revelation 1:17).
And I had just been in the very presence of God, I had just received His holy body and blood, nearly as an afterthought.
I knelt in the pew and watched as my fellow Catholics moved slowly in line toward the Eucharist. Some chewed gum. Others glanced casually around the sanctuary. Many crossed themselves so rapidly, their hand nearly blurred as it brushed their forehead, chest and shoulders.
And I saw myself in them; Casual. Detached from the sacred moment.
What am I doing?
Oh, Lord! I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.