By Caroline Shell

All weekend I had been running around.  I moved back on campus and set up my room.  Then I moved in the freshmen and made sure that they were settled.  I barely had a break to breathe and eat all weekend.  As I made my way to the chapel, all the tasks I needed to accomplish cluttered my mind.  I need to get my backpack together, pick out my first day outfit, print out my syllabus, and check to see if I could meet my friend for coffee later.  

I was running on fumes, desperately in need of some me time and a good night’s sleep.  

When I got to the chapel and unlocked the doors I put on my sacristan badge, relieved that it was my last job for the weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a sacristan, but I was just starting to realize that my new heels were not a good idea because my feet were still hurting from the day before.

After everything was set up for Mass I began passing out song sheets and trying to catch liturgical ministers as they walked in the door.  In the end I filled every position except one, Eucharistic Minister.  

As I walked up to the altar my head was still swimming.  

Would the usher remember when to dismiss people for Communion?  Do we need to take Communion to people unable to come forward?  Does Father know what to do with the low gluten hosts?  

I tried my best to block it all out of my head, I needed to be present for the ministry I was going to do.  I tried to focus on the incredible privilege that it is to distribute the Body of Christ, but I was struggling.


It wasn’t until halfway through distributing Communion that God pulled me right back down to Earth.  

It seemed like the music stopped and no one was there except me, Jesus, and the person I was giving communion to.  I held up the host and said the words “The Body of Christ,” just like I had for every person, but this time I looked down at the hands receiving.  

They were big hands with large calluses.  I could tell that they came from hard work.  A few even looked like they had been bleeding recently.  I looked up at the man receiving Communion and saw the sincerest smile, someone ready to become Christ through the reception of the Eucharist.

After that I took notice of many different hands.  

Dainty hands, manly hands, hands with wedding rings, hands with reminders written on them, old hands, young hands, tiny second grade hands, hands that shook, warm hands, cold hands, and, I kid you not, tie dyed hands, all the hands of God.

As I placed a host in each empty set of hands I began to pray that they would use their hands to glorify God.  I prayed that their Sunday experience went beyond the doors of the Church.  I prayed that when Christ said “Follow me” to them, they would answer Him.

Jesus calls all of me to become His hands and feet.  

The Gospel says, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  He called St. Matthew, a tax collector.  A person who the Pharisees wouldn’t dream of standing next to, let alone eating with Him.  Matthew was hated by so many people.  But Jesus called Matthew, because He had a great plan for His life.

And Matthew dared to accept it.

He listened to Jesus’ call, got up, and followed Him.  He did not hesitate or question, he just followed.  If Matthew hadn’t taken that leap and lived a life with Christ, where would we be?  We would only have eleven apostles and three Gospels.  Would the message even have gotten out?  Would the Church have spread as it did without Matthew’s writings?

God calls me to be a Matthew, to live fearlessly following Him.  

He calls me to be His hands and feet in this world and show others His great and merciful love. 


Caroline Shell

Cari Shell Pic.jpeg

Cari is a Junior Honors Student at Walsh University majoring in Theology and minoring in Communications and Spanish.  After school she hopes that her love for Jesus and knowledge of Pope Francis quotes will help her land a job as a Youth Minister. If you can't find her at her desk studying, she is usually in the kitchen cooking, in the chapel, searching for her next travel location, or taking a much deserved nap.