God has a way to humbling us and loving us at the same time. I arrived at the church at 7:30 p.m., Mass concluded at 8:30 p.m., and the healing service started immediately afterwards. I was getting a little antsy. I thought I should have been finished at that point.
I moved down to the front to get a photo of Sister Briege as she was praying, and at the same time I tried to get a photo of Father Kevin as he was carrying the monstrance up and down the aisles and around the church. I only took a few photos because I was trying to be selective, waiting for those moments when Father Kevin would walk out of the shadows and into the momentary pockets of light. Once I took my shots, I retreated to very back, left corner side of the church – out of the way I thought.
But Father Kevin made a left turn and began heading toward me and my corner. I was kneeling down with the camera at my side. He stopped right in front of me and held the monstrance above my head for a few seconds. I think Jesus knew what was on my heart before I walked in the church that evening. I felt embarrassed and guilty for having approached the evening with such a cavalier attitude.
With the real presence of Jesus in front of me, all I could think to say was a silent prayer: “You know what I’ve been thinking tonight, but while you’re here, would you bless and anoint my work tonight?” Needless to say, I stuck around for the entire healing service and benediction.
I confess that’s not the first time I had planned to “go in and get out,” but ended up staying You’d think I would know by now. Whenever Jesus is the main attraction and headliner, you can’t leave. Why would you? As in Mark’s Gospel I had read earlier that day, the works and love of Jesus leave us “utterly astounded.”
Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer