From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
THE REAL PRESENCE!! Only one in four Catholics believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist! It is the source and summit of our faith – the core of our faith – that we as Catholics are called to believe. This week, we celebrate the miracle we all witness and take part in every week. And only one in four really believe. Do you believe in miracles? Because that is what this is – the greatest miracle of all time – when Jesus makes himself present to us through the transformation of bread and wine into his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, to be with us in the most intimate way. In Pentecost and Trinity we honor an untouchable and invisible God, but through the Eucharist God becomes present to our senses as we can see him, taste him and feel him to the very core of our being. This Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ takes us back to the Last Supper. To the source and the summit.
St John Vianney said “Jesus Christ found a way by which he could ascend into heaven and yet remain on earth. He instituted the adorable sacrament of the Eucharist so that he might stay with us and be our companion.” This week is a yearly reminder to us of the awesome gift we celebrate that is the Eucharist. It reminds us to respect this gift, to reverence this gift. When we come into Church, we genuflect to pay respect to the Divine Presence and to remind us that we are before the Lord.
He is here completely and totally every day, every hour, every second. His real presence is unquestioned as he has given his very life for us. Perhaps the question we should contemplate this week is not His Real Presence in the Eucharist. Rather the question may be am I really present at the Eucharist – every time – fully and completely? Is my mind fully engaged and my heart totally committed? Do I commit completely to the truths of Jesus Christ? The truths of the sanctity and dignity of human life, of marriage and family, of religious freedom? Do I commit totally to the truth of mercy and forgiveness, prayer and compassion, hope and charity? Do I commit totally to care for the less fortunate and just systems of government and law? Those at the Last Supper committed their very lives to Jesus. Would I do the same? Am I really present and ready to commit to Jesus as he has committed to me?
As Vincentians, we are the real presence of Christ through our home visits to our neighbors in need – and that is essential for them. We bring comfort and hope to them through our presence, through our listening, through our compassion. Presence – physical presence – allows us to connect to one another and bring strength, comfort and hope. We bring hope to those we serve precisely because of God’s mercy. His presence and ours fosters friendship and mutual love connecting us to one another in Christ Jesus Himself. Do I search for ways to make myself totally available even when it isn’t convenient? Do I seek to have patience and understanding, acting with total mercy and compassion?
Father in heaven, we are so grateful for the gift of your presence through Jesus and the Eucharist. I love You above all things, and I desire to never be separated from the intimacy of your Eucharist. I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You. Give me the courage, the confidence and the boldness of the apostles at Pentecost to go into the world and be your presence to others. I pray that your mercy may be revealed and graced upon those who are in despair. Grace me, that I may show them your presence in their lives through my love and friendship of them. Help me to be aware of your miraculous presence in the work we do. Help me to find new ways to be present to all around me that I may make your love and friendship visible. Help me to be total present to you at all times, as you are to me. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen