22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time; St. Adalbert's.
One year at Notre Dame’s baccalaureate Mass, I was the person tasked with purifying the vessels after communion. As I was purifying the main, celebrant’s chalice, I noticed whose it was. It had belonged to Fr. Sorin, Notre Dame’s first president, who had left his home country of France to make the long dangerous journey to Indiana to found a school, taking risk after risk to help this school survive and then grow. It wasn’t the chalice he’d received at his ordination, but one he’d been given on one of his ordination anniversaries by a benefactor. The precious metal alone must have been worth a pretty penny, the craftsmanship and artistry more, and the history behind it probably made it the most expensive thing I’d ever held, and certainly the most expensive thing I’d ever swilled water around in and drunk out of. The most expensive thing I’d ever held, but not the most valuable: for a little while before I’d embraced fellow Christians in the sign of peace (how we long to be able to return to that), and a shortly after that I’d held the body of my Lord briefly in my hand, before I consumed it. “What could we give in exchange for our life, or the life of anyone?” Jesus asked. Nothing, we could give nothing so valuable as a life. What would he give for our life? Everything. He would give his clothing, his blood, his body, his very life, to lead us into eternal life.