Sunday Reflection – 24 November – The Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year C
He is in the hands of sinners once more
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
He took bread and blessed and made it His Body. He took wine and gave thanks and made it His Blood and He gave His priests the power to do what He had done. Henceforth, He is in the hands of sinners once more. Frail, ignorant, sinful man, by the sacerdotal power given to him, compels the presence of the Highest; he lays Him up in a small Tabernacle; he dispenses Him to a sinful people. Those who are only just now, cleansed from mortal sin, open their lips for Him; those who are soon to return to mortal sin, receive Him into their breasts; those who are polluted with vanity and selfishness and ambition and pride, presume to make Him their Guest; the frivolous, the tepid, the worldly-minded, fear not to welcome Him.
Alas! Alas! even those who wish to be more in earnest, entertain Him with cold and wandering thoughts and quench that Love which would inflame them with It’s own fire, did they but open to It! Such are the best of us and then for the worst? What shall we of sacrilege? of His reception to hearts polluted with mortal, unforsaken sin? of those further nameless profanations, which from time to time occur, when unbelief dares to present itself at the holy Altar and blasphemously gains possession of Him? ….
I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am, before I place myself there!
I adore Thee, O my Saviour, present here as God and man, in soul and body, in true flesh and blood.
I acknowledge and confess, that I kneel before that Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary’s womb and lay in Mary’s bosom; which grew up to man’s estate and by the Sea of Galilee, called the Twelve, wrought miracles and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the Cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead and now reigns in heaven.
I praise and bless and give myself wholly to Him, who is the true Bread of my soul and my everlasting joy. Amen.