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Maneuvers in Traffic: Genuflection

You’ve been there: It’s time to go forth in peace from a crowded Mass, but you can’t catch a gap in the post-recessional traffic.

Finally, you decide just to go for it. You step out of your pew into traffic and genuflect toward the altar. In so doing, you bend the knee to whomever is coming down that aisle.

You might be annoyed. The person to whom you have just done unwitting obeisance might feel awkward.

And yet, you have just done one of the most appropriate things you could possibly do at the end of a liturgy.

Your brothers and sisters in Christ who received Holy Communion just minutes earlier are truly and really the living tabernacles of God Most High.

All humans at all times deserve your respect as they are all made in the image and likeness of God, no matter how obscured by sin. But the baptized recipient of the Eucharist is worthy of the reverence due to the Ark of the Covenant.

Indeed, it is even more than a matter of the Lord being housed under our unworthy roofs. We become what we receive! He nourishes us not merely to sustain us but to transform us. As St. Peter Julian Eymard said, “Receive Communion often, and Jesus will change you into himself.”

And it is more than a matter for individuals. He wills that we become one with Him and thus (and only thus) one with our fellows.

So don’t wait for the lane to clear. Hesitate not to merge into that Body of Christ of which you have partaken.

Genuflect with joy and gratitude and awe as you encounter the living church made of such a great sacrament of such a great God.

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