Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Tremendous Mystery

The Eucharist is Jesus Himself. In this sacrament, He is really, substantially present. This tremendous mystery—His crucified, risen, and glorified body and blood in His once for all infinitely loving offering of Himself—made present every day by His sacred ministers ordained to act as His instruments, ministers who remain men with personalities and struggles and flaws and who need love just like everyone else.

The Lord of the Universe, Mighty God, Prince of Peace; His body, blood, soul, and Divinity are really present in the Eucharist. I can visit Him in any Catholic church. I can, even here in my home, turn to Him inwardly and focus my heart on that concrete Presence, offer Him my love and adoration, and pour out my sorrows to Him. And I can receive Him, my food and drink, my sustenance, in holy communion; thus He nourishes me and draws me into His life.

Some Christians find it hard to bear the “physicality” of the mystery of the Eucharist. But we believe that the Infinite, Eternal God became man and gave us His body and blood on the Cross, so why should we shy away from the Eucharist? After all, it was His idea, not ours: “Take this, all of you and eat, this is my body.” “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” Those are His words, mysterious but wonderful. They are embraced as He is embraced, with an abandonment of ourselves and our own limited mentality; our own calculations of what is possible and what is not possible for God. Only thus can our human hearts expand to participate in the life of the God who is Love.

--from Never Give Up: My Life and God's Mercy by John Janaro (Servant, 2010).
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