Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Eucharist is thanks-giving (Pedro Arrupe)

   Spanish Basque Jesuit Pedro Arrupe had a particularly moving experience of Eucharist, as told in Fr. James Martin’s The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything:

   While visiting his brother Jesuits in a poor barrio in Latin America, Fr. Arrupe celebrated Mass for the local people in a small building frequented not only by people, but by cats and dogs as well.  Afterwards, Fr. Arrupe was invited to the house of a parishioner, where he had his own unique experience of the gifts of communion.  As he tells the story,

  When [Mass] was over, a big devil whose hang-dog look made me almost afraid said, Come to my place.  I have something to give you.  I was undecided; I didn’t know whether to accept or not, but the priest that was with me said, Accept, Father, they are good people.  I went to [the man’s] place; his house was a hovel nearly on the point of collapsing.  He had me sit down on a rickety old chair.  From there I could see the sunset.  The big man said to me, Look, sir, how beautiful it is!  We sat in silence for several minutes.  The sun disappeared. The man then said, I didn’t know how to thank  you for all you have done for us.  I have nothing to give you, but I thought you would like to see this sunset.  You liked it, didn’t you?  Good evening.  And then he shook my hand.

  Where Fr. Arrupe celebrated Eucharist with a capital E, the man was offering him communion of a different kind:  the sharing of all he had to offer.  An ample reason to give thanks.

--As told by Fr. James Martin 
in The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything

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