Sunday Reflection – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday
“He is not past, He is present now.” – Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890) on the Eucharist
In every Mass Christ comes to us, in the Blessed Eucharist, Christ remains with us – Christ counteracts Time and the World
What makes Christianity in its fullness, much more than a historical religion – though Protestants claim their religion to be just that, and, indeed, Christ died long ago – is the fact that He is “living among us with a continual presence”.
In every Holy Mass we are touched by Christ’s spiritual presence when the Gospel is proclaimed. We are touched by His real, full and personal presence in the Eucharist. When we walk up to receive the Eucharist, Christ Jesus comes to us. He remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament, whether in the tabernacle or exposed for our adoration. With Newman’s words from a sermon of 25th May 1858:
“He is not past, He is present now. And though He is not seen, He is here. The same God who walked the water, who did miracles, etc., is in the Tabernacle. We come before Him, we speak to Him just as He was spoken to … years ago.”
We receive Christ Jesus, when we receive the consecrated host. We adore Him, we listen to Him and we dare to speak to Him. When we receive Holy Communion, He wants to grow in us and wants us to grow towards Him:
“In every holy mass and especially in communion but also whenever we adore Christ Jesus, kneeling before the tabernacle or before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, our fleeting lives touch eternity as the living God touches us. God, does not merely present Himself before us as the Object of worship but God actually gives Himself to us to be received into our breasts. wonderful communion”!
The Eucharist brings Christians of all times, whether in the action of holy Mass or in the stillness of the Blessed Sacrament into the presence of Christ and is the living reminder that we live at all times in the presence of God and have the presence of God within us and before us in a passing world. It makes us realise that although every day and hour passes and will never come back, we are held and find our stay in the presence and love of God. The real presence of God in the Holy Eucharist makes us realise that eternal life, our life with God, has begun for us with baptism and cannot be lost to us by any outward force, only by severe sin. Therefore Newman can say that by the Holy Eucharist “We are brought into the unseen world.” (Excerpted Sr Brigitte Maria Hoegemann FSO)