Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Gift of Gifts

Together we moved to the small table, she picked up the little vessel of water and carefully let a few drops fall into the chalice and pitcher of wine. She looked at me and smiled. Putting down the water, she then picked up the plate of bread. I took this as my cue to pick up the chalice and pitcher of wine and follow her lead.

Her gentle manner in these movements caught me by surprise. Yet, not really, because she lives a gentle and prayerful life dedicated to her Benedictine commitment. What we were about to do, present the gifts to the priest at the altar, is an act of commitment to our faith. What is about to happen as the
priest prays over the bread and wine with the worshiping community gathered for Eucharist is the reason we are there. Side by side we walked up the steps to the altar. The priest received her gift of bread and then my gift of wine.

The smile I was witness to between her and the priest was priceless. I say this because her love of Jesus was evident. She knew that she was part of something greater than a simple exchange of bread on a plate. After the Eucharistic celebration, I expressed my thanks to her in helping me bring the gifts to the altar. Her response was what I should have been expecting, “Thank you for asking me.” I grew in greater appreciation of the importance in being the gift bearer at the Eucharist. Because she was so present to the ministry, I will be more present to the ministry next time I am invited to present the gifts of bread and wine. We celebrate the Eucharist daily at Saint Benedict’s Monastery and have the opportunity to serve one another in this way.

Lisa Rose, OSB

Sister Lisa Rose is Vocations Director at Saint Benedict's Monastery. If you would like more information about our Benedictine community, please contact her at lrose@csbsju.edu.


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