What's so Special?

“Somebody special is looking for you. Somebody special is searching for you. Somebody special is waiting for you. Somebody special, special.”
– ‘Somebody Special’ by Rod Stewart
  As human beings, we have a desire to feel loved, wanted and needed – to feel special. We desire that special promotion or that special someone in our lives who make us feel like royalty. We each have such a man in our lives: Jesus Christ.

He tells us every day how special we are to him. He tries to sweep us off our feet by showing his love for us in ways that only he knows how to do: a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a butterfly, a song on the radio. God tries to show us how special we are to Him every day in a very intimate way. How do we reciprocate and show God how special He is to us?

A recent conversation with a student prompted me to ask myself that question. While I was on a school visit, I spoke with a student named Jessica during a religion class. I was helping her with an assignment when, after some small talk, she asked me, “What made you choose the Catholic faith? What makes it so special to you?” I was taken by surprise. Our faith is something that is close to us, but how often do we think about what makes it special? When did it become so special to us? I told Jessica about the day my faith became my own and how it was the first time I saw how truly beautiful a Mass is.  We get to share in His last supper as a special guest! How beautiful is that?  When Jessica asked me that question, it helped to foster an unspoken trust that allowed me to ask about her own faith journey. She told me that her parents each go to church but that her mom is Pentecostal and her dad is Catholic – an upbringing that I can relate to. It was when I asked if she goes to church that she told me that she used to go with her mom, but not anymore because she feels like there is something missing from her mom’s church. Jessica knows that something special is missing.  She may not know yet what it is, but this missing piece is the Eucharist.

God gives us the Eucharist. We can go to Mass, every day if we choose to, and receive Jesus into our bodies. What a special gift! Are we, as Catholics, reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice each time we go for communion? Do we feel the love of our Father as we receive His special gift? St. John Paul the Great reminds us, “We must always take care that this great meeting with Christ in the Eucharist does not become a mere habit”.  I can think of so many times when I have attended Mass when I was distracted or tired - doing exactly what St. John Paul was warning us against receiving the Eucharist out of habit. I am so often humbled by the Eucharist and shaken out of my sense of entitlement. I am reminded that I do not deserve the special gifts God gives to me, but He desires for me to have them anyways.

The deepest desires of our hearts were given to us by God, and it is He who wants to fulfil those desires. He wants to flood us with His very presence, especially through the gift of the Eucharist. He wants to romance us in such a personal way. Let Him.

“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” –Pope Benedict XVI