Monday, January 05, 2009

The Mystery of Ministry

The Coordinator of Lectors emphasizes the importance of our ministry. "You never know who you will reach by your proclaiming the Word of God," she says at every meeting.

Last night I was a Eucharistic Minister at the Youth Mass. One of the altar servers was fairly new, but I've known her since she was in Kindergarten at the Parish School and through Girl Scouts. I'm in the Sanctuary, getting ready to receive the smaller ciborium to hand out the Body of Christ, when she comes up to me.

"I don't feel good," she whispers.

She is slightly hunched and has her hand cupped over her mouth, which my mommy-sense tells me is the sign she's ready to throw up.

"Go to the sacristy," I whisper back and point. (Just in case she's forgotten or didn't understand me.)

She leaves. I think about following her, but there's Father K. (a new priest himself) standing there. I take the ciborium and head out to my spot.

On my way, I look for the altar server's mom. Like most of us, she sits in the same spot, more or less, each week. She and I find each other.

"She's in the sacristy. There's a bathroom there," I whisper.

Mom nods and heads off.

After Mass, I notice the girl was in the pew with Mom, looking very pale.

Part of me wonders what she would have done if I hadn't been there. Would she have been brave enough to go up to another adult and tell them she didn't feel well? Or did she come to me because she knew me as the mom of DD#2? (I had spoken to her briefly before Mass.)

Chalk this up as one of my more unusual experiences in ministry... :)