Reverence is a funny thing. It comes in many shapes and forms.
As a Catholic, I have heard from certain, more conservative, members of the Church that there is only one way to be reverent. That the Eucharist must be celebrated in X location at Y time with Z rubrics.
But today we threw all that out the window and celebrated Eucharist in the Foyer of Floor 7 in the AGH Kapitol building. Why? Because there was nowhere else available!
On this pilgrimage we have celebrated Mass in some truly incredible churches; churches so big that they eclipse the sun, churches with enormous and intricate frescos, and churches and have enough gold in them to make Solomon blush. But here, in the Foyer of Level 7, was one of the most intimate Masses we’ve had in all this time.
I think it was a clear reminder that Jesus comes to us wherever we are, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. This is as true in the Eucharist as it was in his earthly life; Jesus would eschew finery and grandeur to go where he was needed. We don’t have to be the Pope in St Peter’s to meet God. It can be me, sitting on the ground in a university dormitory hallway.
At the (Saint) JPII museum in Kalwaria, one piece of information that stuck with me was a quote from a friend of the late great Saint. This quote said that the Sainted Pope would celebrate Mass wherever he was. I don’t remember the specific quote, but it noted that JPII would make an altar out of anything, including, once, two oars crossed over a canoe.
It’s a powerful reminder that Jesus will always be wherever we need him to be, we just have to invite him in.