On Saturday, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist held their annual renewal day at ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ Church in Mickleover.
We were lucky enough to have Bishop Malcolm McMahon with us as the key speaker. He received an enthusiastic round of applause as he entered to congratulate him on his promotion as Archbishop of Liverpool. The Bishop said he would be sad to leave the diocese of Nottingham though pleased to have this new ministry entrusted to him.
The Bishop gave us a powerful and insightful talk about the significance of the Eucharist – saying ‘Amen’ when we receive Communion is us saying ‘yes, I believe.’ It is an anticipation of the future glory that awaits us; past, present and future happen at that instant of communion, the carpet of time is rolled up. The Mass is a new Passover. The old Passover made the Israelites free, it turned them into a people/nation and gave them an identity. During Holy Week this happens to us too, we are made free from ourselves, from sin, from fear and into a new people of God again. We are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. As Pope Benedict said, the eucharist makes us free in Christ, rebuilds the church and draws us deeper into Christ. We must put on christ like an overcoat, “dress up in jesus”.
The Extraordinary Ministers were reminded that we are serving Christ and the person when we administer the Eucharist, and this puts us lower than everyone else. No one is worthy of their role, “including the bishop”, but we were advised not to get “hung up” on our sins and get carried away with being unworthy.The Bishop emphasised the wonderful work we do, and on a personal note, appreciated all the help he was given when he was ill last year.
The Bishop celebrated Mass, which included a renewal of our committment to serve as Extraordinary Ministers. Following lunch, Fr Michael Eastwood, offered a huge thank you to Archbishop Elect Malcolm for all his advice, help and encouragement over the years.
The day concluded with Stations of the Cross, Adoration and Benediction.
A huge thank you goes to all the ‘Eucharistic Ministers’ who serve us so well at The Church on Oakwood and St Alban’s Church.