We live in a very function-driven society. As an illustration of this, much of the time when we get together with others, we have an agenda. We have a task or goal to accomplish or we have some need to be met. Oftentimes, when we’ve accomplished what we had set out to do, or when a given need has been met, we disperse. We go off from one another in different directions. We can become so function-driven that whenever the doorbell rings or our phone sounds off, we wonder who wants what from me now.
Even our most precious relationships can become function-driven. As we grow up, we come to our parents when we need or want something. When we get what we requested, we are then prone to go off on our own. We want to do our own thing. We don’t want to be tied down.
Unless we are on guard, our relationship with the Lord can become functional. Many come to the Lord in prayer when we really need or want something. Then, when we’ve received that for which we’ve prayed, we put time for prayer on the back burner until some other need or want comes up.
To a great extent, we’ve lost a sense of the value of presence. The way that our family spent Sundays as I was growing up helped me to appreciate the value of presence. After going to church on Sunday mornings, we would enjoy a tasty meal together. Oftentimes, we would then go out for a ride in the country. Other than just being with one another, we didn’t have an agenda or something specific to be accomplished. From time to time, we would just drop in to visit relatives or friends. Again, we did not have an agenda up our sleeves. If we were at home, people would just drop in to visit us. In the course of visits of this nature, the host would brew a pot of coffee and put out a small snack. After sharing a light conversation over snacks, the company, whether ourselves or others, would leave.
Hosting fellowship over light refreshments in our parishes after weekend Masses expresses an effort to reclaim a value which to a great extent has been lost in our society, namely that of presence.
Hopefully, as we appreciate others simply for who they are, we will come to value opportunities just to be in the Lord’s Presence, even when we don’t have an agenda to bring to the Lord. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament offers a unique opportunity to do just that. Periods for Exposition can be scheduled at a variety of times.
Sad to say, many regard opportunities just to be with others and with the Lord as a waste of time unless we have something to be accomplished. What can easily happen if we allow ourselves be mastered by all that we sense we have to do is that we can become exhausted and burned out. Our daily tasks and responsibilities can become an ordeal to be endured.
I hope that in a world in which we can all too easily become bombarded by all kinds of pressures and demands that are placed upon us that we will acknowledge the need “to come up for air.” Just spending time in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament whether it is exposed or not offers us an opportunity to allow the Lord to fill that sense of emptiness that eats away within each of us. As we make time just to be in the Lord’s Presence and then as an extension of this arrange just to be in the presence of others from time to time without an agenda to be accomplished, we will be opening ourselves to receive the energy that frees us to face our tasks and responsibilities as opportunities to be embraced.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor