theROCK

Community

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The loss of community has been the hardest consequence of this pandemic and has dramatically changed our lives. What had been classes, family gatherings, and Masses, became “virtual” classes, meetings, and Masses. These are awesome alternatives, but they don’t replace being with one another. There is nothing like physical proximity and contact. For now, it is what we have.

As we return to having those direct interactions with one another, we realize what we’ve been missing. Yesterday, I had class with my fellow brothers in formation, and it was awesome to be together. My daughter and her family were also at that class, so that I could “practice” marry her. It was an emotionally supercharged day because of the rite and being with those I love.

This points out how important community is. Jesus knew that, and gave us the gift of the Eucharist to unite us to Him and to one another. While being physically separate doesn’t change that union, being together is clearly better. I trust that as we return to “normal” you will feel the restoration of the profound community that is Christ in the Eucharist.

Posted by Kurt Peot

The Chair of St. Peter

When my family and I vacationed in Italy, it was one of the best experiences of our lives. The highlight of our trip was visiting Rome and attending Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. In the basilica there is a huge altar honoring the Chair of St. Peter. Breathtaking!

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in February. It brings to my mind the lineage of the popes through the ages who have led the people of God, focusing on the mission of Christ who came not to abolish the law of the prophets, but to fulfill them. It makes me think of how popes have struggled through conflict, indeed--sin, some not so successfully, to Christ's vision of a more sincere, more perfect fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

In His continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's message to us is ultimately that of love - to be reconciled to your neighbor - to respect your brothers and sisters. 

Let's be mindful of the legacy that the popes have left us - to fulfill the Law and the Prophets more perfectly through Christ's command to love one another. St. Peter, pray for us!

Commit to Communion

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Do you remember the time when we were asked to refrain from eating from midnight until we received Communion the next day?

From early Christian days, “Do this in memory of me,” meant to recall and participate in Jesus’ action in which he poured himself out for us. When we come up to receive His precious body, we also commit to communion with Jesus, that we too will pour ourselves out for one another. That’s quite an oath we take each time we come forward.

Now that we are required to fast just one hour before communion, how are you preparing to make this promise of self-emptying? Too often, we are in such a rush that we don’t run our week, it runs us. When we live the work week in chaos and haste, we often cannot slow down on Saturday evening or Sunday morning and relish what we are to receive.

Preparing ourselves to receive the most precious body and blood of our Lord, is not just something on the “to do” list. St. Paul says, “As often as you eat this bread…you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.” The only way to truly proclaim His death is your willingness to participate in it.

Every time you process up for communion, you are exchanging your promise to live as Jesus instructed in exchange for the divine gift of eternal life.

Do not waste an opportunity. Pay attention.