Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras with the MC's

Today I had the joy of going with some friends to join the Missionaries of Charity at St. Agnes Parish in preparing and serving food for the poor and homeless downtown. We got there a bit early and found that the meal for the day was pizza, which required little prep work. We prepared it quickly and then the sisters began showing us other jobs that could be done - two people mopped a hallway, another took out recyclables, another prepared the tables. So there I was standing in the hallway next to the sister waiting for her to give me a chore to help with. Fully expecting to receive a task of mopping, sweeping or some other form of manual labor, I asked, "Sister, what can I do?". She looked at me for a second, turned around and opened the chapel door, turned back to me and said, "Father, you can pray." For half a second I felt like I had just been given a break.  Everyone else was doing various tasks around the place and there I was simply sitting with Jesus. As I sat there, though, I began to think that maybe that little sister might have had a dozen other things that could have been done but that she felt it most fitting that I do what I've been consecrated to do and offer one of the greatest gifts I can by interceding on their behalf. And so I prayed. Maybe she was just taking it easy on me since it was my first time there in a long while, who knows. But in that moment, I came to realize a bit more clearly just what it is that others see in me and expect of me as a priest of Jesus Christ. And so I pray...