First, I was talking to a colleague (literally at the water cooler) and I started telling him about a mission trip I'm thinking of going on. (He's some kind of protestant preacher.) He said "wow, I didn't know you were a believer." I told him that I used to be a missionary, etc. and when it was his turn to talk, he immediately told me about his first encounter with Christ.
This interaction made a deep impression on me for a few reasons.
1. Why didn't he know that I am a "believer?" Why did he seem surprised to find out?
2. Why was I so quick to give him my "Christian Resume?"
3. Why don't I lead with my experiences of who Jesus is?
I thought about it all the way to Mass. A comment that a different protestant colleague made a few weeks ago about transubstantiation (and how it isn't the most incredulous thing about the Catholic Church) made me think about how many churches would be filled to the brim if we had a true understanding of Christ's Eucharistic Presence and could share that joy with our protestant brothers and sisters: that Christ dwells in thousands of Tabernacles in every country in the world, just waiting for us to come to Him. I feel like transubstantiation isn't believable or isn't a big deal to protestants because if it were true and if it's implications followed, how or why would we go one day without going to see Him?
I have none of the answers.
I was praying for a bit before Mass, completely aware that I was in the Presence of Jesus... and I asked Him to give me an experience of Himself outside of the Mass. He came through in a big way in my prayer this evening, as I prayed over Isaiah 55:
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of nations, So shall you summon a nation you knew not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, Because of the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; Let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.
For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back; Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you, and all the trees of the countryside shall clap their hands. In place of the thornbush, the cypress shall grow, instead of nettles, the myrtle. This shall be to the LORD'S renown, an everlasting imperishable sign.
It also reminded me of this song:
Felix and Elisabeth Leseur, pray for us.