We Catholics live among mysteries. We are surrounded by the divine. Sometimes we experience the presence of God, the inspirations of the Holy Spirit that moves us through our lives and the interaction with the persons of the most Holy Trinity. And today we celebrate another mystery, the mystery of God who chose to remain with us in the Eucharist. Hiding under the species of bread and wine is Jesus in the whole divinity and humanity. This presence is still a mystery for us for two reasons.
The first one is the mystery of “why” the One who created everything, after having redeemed us, still wants to remain with us. It is because in his love he doesn’t leave the ones he loves, but wants to be with them so everyone will know and understand that our God is not far from us. He is close to us in everything we do.
It is to the nature of the Church to be close to the people, to be with everyone in all circumstances. Somehow the church tries to continue what Jesus started and tobe present, never abandon, always helping, always close fortifying us, encouraging us, sometimes just keeping us company.
The second is “how” He is presence, real present not sacramental. St. Thomas Aquinas, a long time ago wrote that when Jesus was alive among us, those who saw him, saw his humanity, but He hides from them his divinity; now here in the Eucharist He hides even the humanity. We know about the sacramental presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. But…Do we understand? No! but we accept it because of our faith. Once again Thomas Aquinas illuminates this with (In Adorote Devote) his beautiful words:
Sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgment of you,
But hearing suffices firmly to believe.
I believe all that the Son of God has spoken;
There is nothing truer than this word of truth.
The amazing thing about this presence is that Jesus is not just present, but He is Breaking Bread for us. He sacrifices himself for us. That is what we mean when we refer to the Eucharist as the breaking of bread. He is among us to give himself. In some ways, when we become like him, we become not only his presence among people, but also a presence that breaks itself, sacrifices for other, not mere spectators.
The celebration we have today is the invitation to renew our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, but also to be conscience of the greatness of that God, who wants to stay with us.