Is there anything unique about the faith of a Minister of Holy Communion, anything that makes your faith different from the faith of other Catholics? The answer is no. And yes! Your faith is the same faith shared by the whole church. The fact that one is a Minister of Holy Communion does not change that. At the same time each person’s faith is unique as each one relates to God in their own unique, individual way. It is your own unique person and individual faith that you bring to your role as a Minister of Holy Communion. It is vitally important for you, as a person, to be true to whom God has called you to be, and to be in touch with your own faith. And, as an Extraordinary Minister, it is also vitally important that you be in touch with the unique presence of the Risen Christ in your life, as well as in the life of others.
If a Minister of Holy Communion has a special gift to bring to the world, perhaps it is that awareness of the presence of Christ. It is the gift of bringing Christ’s presence to each one we meet, and of seeing Christ present in each person. It is obvious that we bring the presence of Christ to those who come forward to receive Communion. At that time, as we distribute the Body and Blood of Christ (which is the whole person of Christ), to those in our faith community, we truly are bringing Christ’s presence to them. But it is your call and duty, as a Christian, and especially as an Extraordinary Minister, to be aware of Christ’s presence, and to make Christ present, in every moment of your life.
In the letter to the Colossians we read, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him” (3:17). These are important words for a Minister of Holy Communion, whose spirituality is based on eucharistia, giving thanks. We are called to give thanks in all circumstances – for our faith is fanned by the wind of thanks! Faith depends on being a thankful, Eucharistic, person. A Eucharistic faith – a thankful faith – seeks the blessing to be found in every time and circumstance of life, and thereby finds Christ present there. In this way you bring Christ’s presence to the world.
Your awareness of Christ’s presence is nurtured as you ponder your faith, as you ask questions, learn, study, discuss and grow in your faith. We encourage you to seek out opportunities to grow in faith so that you might continue to grow in that spirituality of “Christ’s Presence”.
Being an Extraordinary Minister is humbling and beautiful. Here is the opportunity to serve the deep hunger of people to find the presence of Christ. This is our ministry and our privilege. The presence of the risen Christ which you bring, both in the sacrament and in yourself, is a presence characterized by a deeply spiritual, realistic love – a love that seeks the good of others – a love that never ends.