Greetings my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I have the privilege of being a member of the Church family, where I am embraced by your love and the love of God. I want to share with you how happy I am as a disciple of Christ. When I receive Christ in the Eucharist, I am inspired and reminded of my duty to bring Him and His love to my brothers and sisters after Mass.
During one of my parish summer assignments, I had the opportunity to do just this by bringing Communion to the home bound and the sick. Like Mary who, with the baby Jesus in her womb, went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, I also brought Jesus to my brothers and sisters who were no longer able to attend church.
On one of these visits to a nursing home in Edgewater, I met an elderly woman in a wheelchair and on a ventilator. I introduced myself as a seminarian and that I had come to bring her Communion. At that moment, I could not describe how delighted she was to know she was
about to receive the Eucharist. I could not even tell you how much she wanted to listen to God’s word when I read the Communion rite. Rather, we continued to be filled with joy through close conversations. I was fortunate enough to share some of my experiences as a seminarian with her, and I was privileged to listen to many happy stories noted especially with her strong, positive attitudes despite her struggles with illness.
Another time, I visited a 102-year-old elderly woman. Entering the room, I saw the frail lady lying on the bed. She did not talk or move. The Eucharistic minister and I were unsure if she would be awake and alert to receive the Eucharist. We tried to communicate with her. Eventually, we began saying the prayers of the Communion rite. It was when I touched her cheeks, clapped my hands and began singing a song that she suddenly became alert. The song I sang went like this: “Sister, open your mouth to receive Communion, receive Jesus, who gives you eternal life.” Amazingly, she opened her mouth, stuck her tongue out, and received Communion. In the moments after consuming Jesus, she smiled. Before we left her, she even told us in a clear voice that she loved us.
Week after week, on my way to a nursing home or to people's houses, I held the spotless Body of Christ in my sinful hands with a sincere heart to share Christ with others. In those moments, I thought not only about the call to Christian discipleship, but what I believe to be a more profound calling: the priestly vocation. A priest always brings Christ’s joy to everyone, for that is his mission: to proclaim the Good News to the world. Bringing Christ to others, I am blessed to share the Lord's Supper with my brothers and sisters. I am blessed to continue to help the Lord fill the hungry with good things, especially with the Body of His Only Begotten Son. As a recipient of the Eucharist, a disciple of Christ, and one journeying toward the priesthood, I rejoice in bringing Christ to others in the footsteps of Mary and the Apostles. These moments replenish my spirit and I am united with the love of God and neighbor. Pray for me as I pray for you, that you may rediscover the joy of receiving the Eucharist and follow in the footsteps of Mary to bring and share Christ with our grateful heart, saying, “My soul proclaims the goodness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior". (Luke 1:46)
Khoa Tran is in 2 nd Pre-Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. Born and raised in Vietnam, Khoa’s home parish is Immaculate Heart of Mary in Towson. Please pray for Khoa!