Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, which marks the beginning of the most powerful week in all of salvation history.
Mass began with the blessing of the palms. Later we heard the account of Christ's passion according to St. Matthew, meaning our parish community went from joy to sobriety in under ten minutes.
Listening to the reading in and of itself was deeply touching, but I was moved even more when we in the pews recited the part of the crowd: "Let Him be crucified!" What tragic, difficult words to say (I could barely get them out), but how true they are. My sins nailed Him to the cross; mine and all the rest of humanity's. I am no less guilty for His death than anyone else in all of history.
Today of all days, I was one of three Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. Even as my head was reeling from the beauty and reality of our Lord's Passion (and my part in it all), I ascended the steps to the sanctuary to receive His Body and Blood... and then to distribute Him to others.
This is the personification of God's mercy and grace: we who crucified Him witness the recreation of His sacrifice at each and every Mass; we receive Him bodily into ourselves (what a miracle!); and beyond this, sometimes we are allowed the privilege of giving His Body and Blood to others.
Oh, what a God we serve!