June 01, 2009

Blessed Be God Forever

By Rusty Montgomery *

"We are the gifts! This is so critically important because it fundamentally changes our understanding of what happens at the moment of Communion … Father will take the gifts of bread & wine … these are both earthen and human gifts, and when Father calls down the Fire of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will transform them into Divinity … in the same way … WE ourselves are Earthen vessels and Human gifts … and by the power of the Spirit at Communion … we are transformed to participate and share in the Divine Life of the Trinity … to participate in Christ’s Mission of Salvation … and we respond, Blessed Be God Forever!" – Deacon Steve Thomlison

May the Lord give you His peace!

Happy Pentecost! I pray you had a great celebration of the Church’s birthday this past weekend. Every year we get the opportunity to once again be reminded of the promise Jesus made to his disciples that he would send an "advocate" to be with them always. What an inheritance we have received! What a gift we have been given! And at the same time what an awesome responsibility comes with it.

Over the course of the past few years I have noticed a common denominator among many young people and the struggles we all go through. Trying to respond to the inner hurt and struggle, some turn to alcohol and drugs, some turn to sports and activities, and others even turn to unhealthy or promiscuous relationships. We when experience a void in our hearts, we will sometimes do anything to give ourselves some sense of worth or identity. Because that is just it. In my experience, most of us young people sometimes just want to have something to offer. We want to offer something to our families, friends, the Church, and the world. It is above my pay grade to realize how this all happened, but after listening and talking with many high school and college students, the greatest challenge for many to overcome is to realize that all of us have something to offer, have something to give.

It takes a deeper understanding and a timely reminder of the gift of the Holy Spirit to realize that we all have something to offer to our Lord for the service of His Church. Like the good deacon said in the quote above, my friends, we are the gifts! Jesus, in the gift of Holy Communion, continually offers himself to us and through us to the world that so desperately needs Him. What an awesome responsibility! Jesus transforms each and every one of us to be a gift to the world if we allow Him to live, breathe, and act in us. Just take that in for a second. The only way Jesus will be made known in the world is if YOU and I become a gift for Him to give in us. The Holy Spirit, just as he descended upon the disciples at Pentecost, descends now upon us to be open and willing to be the teachers, prophets, and shepherds to the Church and world. He desires to preach through us, teach through us, heal through us, forgive through us, and love through us. What a gift and what a responsibility!

My friends, you do have something to offer. The Lord has given us the gift of the Spirit and calls us now to be gifts ourselves to the Church. Take some time this week to think about the awesome responsibility God is calling us to. In understanding this and truly coming to embrace the gift we can truly say…Blessed Be God Forever!

God Bless You,



Rusty is a seminarian at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska and is the co-founder of Live Greater Ministries. The ministry's aim is to invite the youth of the Church into a dialogue about the present culture and how Jesus invites us to a relationship with him, finding true happiness and greater purpose.  More information can be found on their website at www.livegreater.net.

* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.