June 24, 2011 9:36 AM
Lift the City - A Catholic Eucharistic flash mob
Well, it's not exactly a mob :) - but definitely a flash of light:
A Eucharistic flash mob in the centre of Preston, UK organised by the Capuchin Franciscans on Ascension Thursday 2011.
How I wish I could have been there! What a privilege it would be to worship Jesus in public. The end is very beautiful:
If we can't throw pearls before swine or give holy things to dogs, why bring the Blessed Sacrament into a public place where He is ignored and disrespected? The crowd was not paying attention or giving any deference to God. It is, perhaps, good to stand up in public for the Faith, but how is this good?
And why were people clapping at the end? Who were they applauding? God? Themselves? The friar?
They should not be thanking themselves or the friar and I do not think applause is the right way to thank God.
Posted by: Eric | June 24, 2011 1:52 PM
Oh, Eric - I see it so differently! All those who knew what was happening had a chance to worship and to bear witness.
Those who didn't understand were there in God's presence for a while - something that may not have ever happened before in their lives. They can't help that they don't know what is happening. But a seed may be planted as they see the reverence of others.
Long before I was Catholic I would go and sit in churches where I could feel something I didn't understand. Maybe the take of a miserable sinner is different, but I think of how God came for the sick rather than the well.
I don't think He would choose to be alwaysshut away where only those who know Him can be in His presence. Jesus ate with tax collectors and prostitutes while the Pharisees grumbled that he should not be doing so. I really think He would have no problem with what these wonderful monks have done.
As for the clapping, that is a supernatural phenomenon that occurs when the Holy Spirit descends on a group of worshipers. I am not a big charismatic or pentecostal, but I do believe this is authentic. The people aren't applauding anything, just acknowledging a shared profound experience - and joy!!!
Posted by: Barbara | June 24, 2011 2:12 PM
Very moving, such I was I moved to kneel while watching. Only thing missing to make (in my humble opinion) this singular even perfect, those NOT part of the organized effort singing any of the Eucharistic Exposition Hymns or just humming the melody...
Would that brave people do the same elsewhere.
Posted by: Sandra | June 24, 2011 3:09 PM
That's right, Barbara. If we can clap in concerts and games and other events, why not clap and shout and cheer for the One who truly deserves it...
Posted by: Bham | June 24, 2011 3:09 PM
"I do not think applause is the right way to thank God" - Eric
"Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy" - Psalm 47:1
Posted by: Restless Pilgrim | June 24, 2011 3:46 PM
I, too, see this totally differently from Eric. To me, I see "many are called and few are chosen". In a beautiful painting (The Procession to Calvary)by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, of Christ being crucified you see the same dynamic: the people milling about demonstrate all levels of interest and disinterest. Many go about their daily routine, unmoved by the "call" to adore and worship Christ for the gift of Himself that He is giving us. Others answer the "call" by listening, some even kneeling, and giving thanks, and acknowledgement for Christ's supreme sacrifice for us. Thank you for this beautiful witness to who Christ is in every book of the Bible.
Posted by: Dee Matthews | June 24, 2011 3:57 PM
I was moved to tears (one of my gifts from the Holy Spirit), and amazed at just how many DID kneel down before Jesus. Wonderful!!! And listening to God's Word, seeing Christ in person, and being moved by the Holy Spirit--wow! The perfect "trifecta"!!! I felt that the clapping was out of pure joy that Jesus IS King, IS forever, IS Our Savior, IS all of those titles He was given throughout every book of the Bible, and that He can't be explained away, or hidden, or killed, or stopped... I love it! Thank you for posting this!!!
Posted by: Cat | June 24, 2011 5:22 PM
Ah, Eric, remember the Corpus Christi processions? This friar brought Jesus to the people who may never see Him. Each one received Graces they would never have received, especially those who did not understand.
I hate it when people clap for people in Mass, but this was so different. They were clapping for Jesus, not man.
Posted by: Laura | June 24, 2011 6:21 PM
I too was moved to tears, and so wish that would happen all over the world, and become more popular than the 'other'flash mobs. What really struck me was the young people who immediately went down on their knees. How awesome!!
Posted by: Caye | June 24, 2011 8:26 PM
Sure it was a risky strategy, but I think it was a great way to bring our Savior to the people.
(I didn't think the clapping was appropriate but, hey, I don't want to criticize those folks who knelt in public before the Lord.)
Posted by: Felix | June 24, 2011 8:57 PM
The clapping began right as the words of triumph were being proclaimed - "Herrod could not kill Him, politicians cannot ignore Him, etc." I thought it was absolutely beautiful and appropriate that the faithful responded with joy. Thank you so much for posting this Barbara! I am blessed to be able to participate in my parish Corpus Christi procession this Sunday. May our Eucharistic Lord be praised, adored and proclaimed in every corner of His world!
Posted by: Anne | June 24, 2011 9:25 PM
Most excellent witness. I admire this thing they have done. I would say that Blessed Maximilian Kolbe, martyr at Auschwitz/Oswiecim, a great saint, must have been rejoicing in heaven -- like something he would've done.
Posted by: X Contra | June 24, 2011 9:29 PM
Recently I've realized that God loves his creation, nature and humankind so much that He is submissive to it. That is why the annunciation is such a mystery. Jesus grew in a womb, was obedient to Mary and Joseph, to his Jewish culture and order and yet he was God. We tend to think as we rise in positions that certain rules don't apply since we are "president, CEO, etc" . Clapping is a way we show appreciation and thanksgiving in our day and time. I think God respects that. If one person was touched by the adoration I think God is pleased.
Posted by: Chantal | June 24, 2011 9:46 PM
It took my breath away when I saw it, and later, in the adoration chapel, saw myself there - in those who knelt, but also in those who ignored the whole scene, the young man who cut through and walked by our Eucharistic Lord, seemingly without a second thought (or deliberately - in spite?). How many times have I walked by, engrossed in my own thoughts and activities? How many times have I been in the adoration chapel, (including tonight) where, I was still wandering, with my thought going to dinner plans, how angry I am at my boss...
And Jesus is there, waiting for me... and you.
Posted by: linda | June 24, 2011 11:30 PM
What a Blessing!!! Is it possible to get a written copy of the "Jesus is..." text? (Our email address is "firstname.lastname@example.org".) If so, I would sure appreciate a copy to remind myself of all that Jesus is and to pass it along as I try to disciple for Him to others.
Thank you, so much!
Posted by: Jim Riedle | June 25, 2011 11:22 AM
Why link secular jargon w/the Eucharist our most Precious, Holy Gift from God to believers? IT is disgraceful and disingenuous to lower the conversation re the Eucharist by falling into the use of profane language linked together w/it. The very idea of Eucharist and "mob" joined in a sentence by any Catholic is outrageous. Those two words are foreign to one another. Catholics should never resort to using profane language to get our message across - a message of the mystery of beauty, grace, goodness, truth and love. Please don't lower the threshold to the level of the street in order to get attention or appear clever. Needless to say, I am horrified at your blindness of reality.
Posted by: sam | June 25, 2011 2:50 PM
Like the Pharisees were horrified by Jesus's own choices and behavior?
Sorry, Sam I don't think anything we humans do can detract from the majesty and mystery. Hearing this kind of criticism just makes me realize how important an event like this can be.
Posted by: Barbara | June 25, 2011 3:16 PM
What a beautiful way to bring Christ to the people! The Church has always adopted what people love most, and as "flash mobs" are a big thing now and people find them wonderful and delightful, it is good to find wonder and delight in the Lord. Go friars! I have just discovered your site and I am very interested in your book about how to talk to people who don't agree with you. I think some of the commenters above might want to check it out. :-)
This columnist at the National Catholic Register transcribed the litany recited by the friar with the microphone:
Posted by: Gail Finke | June 25, 2011 3:37 PM
Anyone know where you can get a copy of the meditation? That was powerful.
Posted by: Mary | June 25, 2011 4:20 PM
I was heart broken understanding how much I was feeling tens watching this video. I don't know why, but I was. It was this kind of feeling of being afraid or ashamed. I speak the truth, so Jesus knows that I speak out of love for Him. Forgive my ungrateful heart. You bestow on me so many graces even though I don't deserve them. Lord, forgive me, for you deserve all my love and my whole life. Please, change me for I am good only because of you, and I want to be better but without you I can only do what is wrong.
Posted by: Greg | June 25, 2011 4:39 PM
Thank you - many people are wondering about that.
Posted by: Barbara | June 25, 2011 10:23 PM
My friend Brother Paul explains how this witness came about.
Posted by: Dominic | June 28, 2011 10:40 AM