My retreat this year to the Missionaries of Charity is on the Holy Eucharist. It is entitled “Missa est,” after the last words the priest says at Mass in Latin, ite, Missa est. Literally translated, those words mean “go, it is the dismissal.” The word missa in Latin comes from the word “mission,” and the Mass itself took the name of this word. When we say “Mass” we mean mission, and that means every person who attends the Mass is a “missionary.” He or she is sent out with these words ite, missa est to take Christ by word and sacrament into the world. The Mass has four movements: it begins with penance (“Lord have mercy”); it continues into the Word (the readings); it reaches its consummation in the Sacrament (the body of Christ), and it concludes with the mission (go… and bring Jesus to others). Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity understand this missionary drive of the Mass. My prayer is that we at Star will more and more understand it too. We have begun Eucharistic adoration; we hear the missionary command, even in the original Latin, ite missa est. We are committed to being a Eucharistic people. Are we also committed to being a missionary people?
As I was writing this, I heard the sisters singing in the chapel: “we know we can love Jesus because we can love the poor.” “We receive Jesus in the Holy Mass,” Mother Teresa told her sisters, “and we receive Him in the poorest of the poor. It is the same Jesus.” Star of the Sea is not only committed to the Eucharist. We are also committed to the poor. Our efforts to love the poor, to touch the poor, has blossomed in the work of our St. Vincent de Paul Society. Thank you all for your love for Jesus in the poorest—it is proof that we are truly becoming a Eucharistic people.