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Joyful Anticipation


 

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I can learn a lot by watching my dog.  For example, whenever I am eating she is always so attentive.  If I have a single scrap, or if she even suspects I do, she is underfoot, staring with anticipation, hoping that I drop something for her.  And lately I’ve seen in her a kindred sensation, similar to the feeling of joyful anticipation I sometimes feel at Mass.  I don’t always feel this sense of expectancy, but when I most fully appreciate Who it is that I am about to receive, I start to get that thrill of hope. And so I try to be more attentive during the Liturgy of the Eucharist when the priest raises the host and repeats the words of Christ,

Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my Body which will be given up for you.

Juan Martín Cabezalero - The Communion of Saint Theresa

At times I have to remind myself of the significance of the event.  I have to admit that, while I am a cradle Catholic, I don’t always appreciate this sacrifice, nor the power of the physical, real presence of our Savior.  But when I begin to more fully appreciate the reality of His presence, I enter the Communion line with a sense of anticipation, like a child ticking away each day of Advent until Christmas Eve.  And as the line ahead of me dwindles, and the Eucharistic Minister–the Christ Bearer– is nearer, I find the experience humbling and exhilarating to know that He gave himself so fully and so completely for me.  I just hope that He sees in me the same excitement to see Him as my dog shows for me.  And I hope I am just as attentive, just as focused on the morsel that will fully satisfy me, as Rudy is on the little scrap that will barely whet her appetite.IMG_0266

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