I have recently started a new job as The Ministry Director for the San Jose State Newman Center. So far my time there has been very joyous. I have been attending mass there and working with the young adults. But today I got called out…
If you have been around me or have read some on my posts of late you will know that I am going through a divorce. Surprisingly my relationship with my soon to be ex-wife has gotten better now that we are not in each other’s face and have agreed to be friends. Not that we will be able to mend the divide.
But I am still struggling with where I stand with my faith. And so I have not “received” Communion since the separation. However, I still go up for a blessing.
Tonight at mass one of our two Eucharistic Ministers suddenly fell ill during mass. There was a very small commotion and so I stepped over to make sure everything was ok. She was dizzy and was concerned that she was not feeling well enough to go up but she just needed to stay where she was. In a very brief poll no one right there was an Eucharistic Minister. So they asked if I would. Without fully thinking it through I said, “Sure, just rest”. Moments later I was up about to receive Communion, and I had to make a decision…
I chose again not to receive but be blessed instead as I have been.
I proceeded to be a wine Minister.
After mass someone approached me and said, “I thought someone in the state of sin should was not supposed to be a Eucharistic Minister.”
Wow Yea called me out…
So I had to quickly review my stand in my head and come up with an answer. “Well to be honest, you are right. And I will share that I am going through a divorce. As I am not yet divorced I am still OK but I will not be a Minister regularly going forward. The scheduled EM got sick and I had to make a quick decision.”
The conversation was short after that but I am not truly happy with my answer. Had I more time to process an answer it would have been longer…
So here is a breakdown of where am I now…
Am I in a state of sin? Yes, however mostly because I have not been to confession in a while. My sins so far are probably venial. So yes I should go to confession.
Is my sin Divorce? Not yet sort of… So we are not officially divorced. However, we are separated and we are not going to get back together. So in all practicality we are. So let’s call it a really dark grey area.
So what is my sin? Well non of your business… But lets just say divorce will trump anything I got.
What else could I have done? Basically I could have thought faster. It was never my intent to be a Minister for the Liturgy. I have had the training and years of experience in lay ministry. But I have not thought through what I would do if asked. I had very little time to process I just reacted. Looking back I should have gone to one of the team leaders and asked them to fill in or have another fill in.
So now what…
Well for now that I need to focus better on my ministry. This is my parish now but it is not my ministry to EM or even Lector. I need to focus on my ministry and the lessons I need to learn in that ministry (delegation for one). I am so used to not having strong leaders at my disposal I need to work with them. My ministry is to let them do their ministry and to help them find their vocation in life.
So did I fail today? No. I was called. Part of me want to think the Lord was calling me back. But also, since I have not let it go he is also calling me to think more on what my position in ministry is.
So yes God called me out today just as much probably even more so than the young adult did.
The Lord works through us all. No matter our state of grace. Some of the most saintly people who go worked through were not in a state of grace. So I just need to remember that I am in good company and I need to live and let Lord.