Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sprechen Sie Jesus?

I was sitting in mass last Friday and listening while the priest was giving his homily and I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. It was almost like he was speaking a completely different language or something. Then I remembered, "He is speaking a completely different language…I'm in Germany."

One of the coolest things about practicing our Catholic faith is that it doesn't have to be put on hold when you are away from your local parish. Catholic means universal. Our universal faith transcends into a universal language.

Although I had no idea what this local priest was talking about in his homily I knew exactly what was happening a few minutes later when he lifted the host and then the cup up and prayed, "Dieses ist mein K├Ârper; dieses ist mein Blut." "This is my body; this is my blood."

It was the words of consecration and in German or in English I understood what was happening; Transubstantiation, at consecration the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus was truly in my midst right there in Cologne, Germany; just like He is there when I attend a mass in California, Louisiana, or Arizona. Wherever and whenever the mass is prayed, one thing always happens - Jesus shows up, no matter what language is spoken. And that is why I am Catholic.

How many times have I sat through a mass at home when English was being spoken and paid no attention to what was happening? I let the priest's words fall on deaf ears because I had heard it all before; it was just background noise during an hour of my Sunday. Only in the last few years have I really been able to start to fathom the love Christ has for me in the Eucharist. Sometimes it takes meeting Jesus in a foreign country to be reminded just how close He always is during mass.

As I reflected on my experience I beamed to think just how cool it is to be Catholic and how I wish I could have the Holy Spirit's frequent flyer miles for just one day.