When you approach the front of the communion line and step forward toward the Priest, Deacon, or Extraordinary Minister of Communion, does the minister take the time to look you in the eye as they distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to you? As you enter the church and are greeted by a Hospitality Minister, does that person go out of their way to greet you with smiling eyes? When the Psalmist is singing the Responsorial Psalm, is their head buried in their music or are they communicating with not only with their voice but with their eyes?
Our eyes are powerful. A simple glance with a smile can show warmth and welcome. A downcast eye can do just the opposite. When is the last time you prayed grace at a meal with family or friends, not with heads bowed, but by looking up and outward at each other?
It’s not always easy to look someone in the eye.
I offer this challenge. The next time you are at Mass, use your eyes to communicate with others. If you serve in any type of ministry, do your best to make eye contact with those you minister to. If you are a parishioner in the pews, look someone in the eye when you share the sign of peace.
If you accept my challenge, I would love to know the result.
Nina Lasceski is a postulant at Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Originally from Michigan, and a Commissioned Lay Minister for the Diocese of Saginaw, she is now enrolled at St. John’s School of Theology•Seminary in Collegeville in “Modern Liturgical Movements'”with Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB. She has served as a cantor and handbell choir director.