A little while ago some 40’s and under friends and I were talking, and the topic of the recent district December 11th Prayer Meeting came up - a prayer meeting with the Margiotta District, Compass & Petros. When asked what I had thought, I replied “It was tremendous.” Some time later, I was asked to expand on what I had meant. However, after a moment’s reflection, I realized I had a problem: while I was sure it was tremendous, I wasn’t sure I could say why! Nevertheless, I will do my best to share what I came up with.
First, upon reflection, I realized that the prayer meeting wasn’t “tremendous” because everything went off without a hitch. Afterall, one of our children refused to go to childcare, and a particularly tall gentleman partially blocked my view of the screen with the lyrics to the songs. (Yes, I am a screen reader.) And even though the leaders, music, and childcare were all good, and even though everyone laughed when Dave Touhill, with his uncanny comic timing, opened his comments by declaring himself “a freshman at Rutgers,” I have to admit that for me none of these elements was what made the time together so remarkable. So, what was it? I continued to ponder, and eventually something emerged.
I think what made December 11th tremendous for me starts with the fact that it was a unique gathering of various “groups” present in the Church in New Jersey. At the gathering was not only the Margiotta District, but also the Petros Community, Compass, and SPO missionaries from both Rutgers and Seton Hall. For me, this did not come with a sense of having those “extra people at our district gathering.” Rather, there was a sense of an “all-together-ness,” a unity. Moreover, for me this experience was accentuated by tangibly profound moments. One such moment occurred when a young man (by which I naturally mean “a man younger than me”) stood up and offered a striking reflection on what he does for a living. He recounted how being a photographer he is in a privileged place to capture the sacred silent moment that lies between a bishop’s greeting and the recipient’s response. As I listened to this man’s description of his work, it struck me that he had found God hidden in his daily life. It made me want to see deeper into my own daily experiences, to find God there again. As I recalled all of these things about December 11th, it was at this point that something emerged. I knew in a flash I had the words. The reason I had found the December 11th prayer meeting “tremendous” was because at it I saw a bit more of the Body of Christ, the Church. And when we encounter the Church alive, the living, breathing Mystical Body of Christ, we get to encounter its Head, Christ Himself. And Christ is always tremendous.
- Justin, People of Hope Member