Tuesday, April 14, 2009
How 'ya doin?
After the wonderful Easter Vigil, our dear family friend Fr. Scott approached me and said, "Do you know what your oldest son did tonight?" I looked at him with dread and said, "Don't tell me, I don't want to know."
He told me anyway.
When 12 year old Nick came up for communion, Fr. Scott raised the host and said, "Body of Christ."
Nick replied in a most honest and sincere way, leaned in and said, " Amen. So, how 'ya doin?"
Yep, my son Nick wanted to start a conversation with the priest in the middle of communion. Totally clueless. Totally sincere. I just love that kid because it all comes from innocence and sweetness.
That whole incident got me to thinking about Nick and his true self. Nick comes by all of this honestly. He has no real sense of the sacred, but neither does his poor mother. It's all learned. I mean, the part that amuses me so much is the many urges I've had over the years to receive communion with more than just an "Amen". Sometimes when I see a Eucharistic minister I know well, I have to hold my spirited self back from saying something similar to "how 'ya doin oh, and thanks for Jesus!" It just seems like the natural thing to do. This person is giving you the most amazing gift of all so it seems appropriate that they receive a hug, embrace, a wink, smile, kiss on the cheek or whatever! It is an intimate act that has profound meaning which has the relational aspect to it suppressed for practical reasons.
What is more interesting is the quiet understated receiving that I have witnessed over the years both as a teenage Eucharistic minister and as an observant adult. That relational piece always finds its way out, which gives me joy that there is more than an 'Amen' going on in the hearts of the faithful. There is real joy, hope, peace in receiving. I've seen tears streaming from older faces, excitement from the first holy communicants, desperation from those truly seeking God, humility, those walking on their knees for miles to receive and blatant disinterest. It's all good; part of the journey; part of what we relate to as human beings.
All in all, a good strong AMEN has it all covered. Nick and I can keep it short, sweet and to the point...but when the innocent blurt out a random comment or smile...there is our God....saying, how 'ya doin. I love you. It is perfect, so, so perfect.