Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 5: Year 2
“Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” (Matthew 15: 33)
Because of Covid, we, the Church, have come full circle back from feeding the multitude camped outside on the Church grounds. Our Bishop instructed us (the Episcopal priest of East Carolina), two years ago, to Consecrate “Both Kinds” but to give only the bread. I had compassion on the people who have missed Holy Communion for so long but at the same time remembering we could have not gathered for church at all. At least the readings, message, prayers and the wafer are better than not having church, and it is full communion with Christ. That was two years ago this month. We are now back to full communion with wine that can be received from small glass chalices or from the Common Cup as Jesus did. It is up to individual preference.
Who’s to say what would happen should the people continue without any communion at all for much longer. Might they too have spiritually fainted on the way? I have witnessed firsthand how glad parishioners are to be in gathered community, even in the heat of the day when we were restricted to outside worship. Social media Church does not come close to satisfying the spiritual hunger people have as they struggle to keep Christ in their lives. When I dismiss them I can see the satisfaction on their faces as they walk to their cars. All I can say is, Thank you Lord Jesus for letting me be a part of Your ministry.
We are pretty much back to some sort of normalcy now. We use the common chalice and the small individual little glass chalices. We meet the needs of the people which includes the individual preference for wearing masks.
We have been following our Lord Jesus for a long time. We don’t want to faint during our travels. We Christians need to be fed even as we are feeding others. We live in a world of caring for others and at the same time, being cared for ourselves.
Having said all this, let us not forget caring for Ukraine. The people of Ukraine are faint right now but not defeated. They have us, and they have our prayers and financial support. We must walk with them all the way no matter what. God bless Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John