Just another ho-hum day at FOCUS New Staff Training! Actually I've yet to have a "ho-hum" day here at training. The morning was full of "mission practicals" which is giving us missionaries instruction on how to evangelize college students (how to do our job). Have I mentioned before that I love my job? Well, I do! After listening to those talks I cannot wait for the next opportunity that the Lord gives me to tell someone about His Son.
After our morning classes we went to lunch. I joined a table of 5 men, all were 2nd year missionaries except for 1 of them. When I joined the table the conversations were about the goals of FOCUS, goals at each campus, and the topic of getting people to events vs. people that attend that are sold out for Christ. I heard some great insight from each person that shared and it was great to hear that everyone's heart could care less about how many people are showing up, but really desire for people to not only be involved but to be radically living for Christ. A priest had joined us at this point and told us about a time that he was doing a retreat at a church and 4 people showed up, the main pastor told him, "Remember Father, you're supposed to feed the sheep, not count them." Amen!
The conversation quickly turned to our Blessed Mother the Virgin Mary and Eucharistic miracles. I swear this only happens when 200+ faithful Catholics are gathered. I really enjoyed what one of the guys said about the Wedding Feast at Cana, John 2:1-12, it was a really good reminder of Mary's role in the life of Jesus (and for us all). Mary tells Jesus that they have no wine to which Jesus replies, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." Then Mary immediately says to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." (as if she knew He would obey her) Jesus then acts on his mother's request and turns over 100 gallons of water into wine. Which is amazing, but something underlying which was pointed out during our discussion by one of the guys today was this. Jesus chose to act after He told His mother "his hour had not yet come" meaning that by choosing to act His hour was now coming meaning his active ministry was about to increase as His greatest miracle, the greatest act in the history of the world was soon coming. And this was equally difficult for Mary because of the amount of suffering that she too would soon experience. We talked about the book The World's First Love by Fulton Sheen, Guadalupe, Mexico, and the latest Marian Apparition site in Green Bay, WI.
Again, quickly and unexpectedly, the conversation changed. This time to Eucharistic miracles. One of the guys asked the priest sitting with us if he had witnessed a Eucharistic miracle. Father responded, "A Eucharistic miracle? I experience one everyday during the mass". With a big smile. He then added, "Lately, as I've held the Eucharist at elevation, I can feel my pulse. And the host is very thin, but as I hold it, I also feel the pulse of Jesus, beating for us all." Beautifully put Father! We then went on exchanging Eucharistic miracle stories. Ones that we'd read about throughout history and others that we've been told first hand by priests or friends. After each story someone at the table would state, "Catholics are so weird!" And weird in a good way, a beautiful way, a way of truth. Eucharistic miracles may sound crazy, but I invite anyone skeptical of them to pray about it and do some research, just type in "Eucharistic miracle" into your google search bar. And if you're really up for some research, search for "Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano".
Thank you Lord for giving us Your Son, not once, but everyday. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.