If We But Realized the Gift of God!
Rev. Lawrence Browning, C.P.
All Catholics believe that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament. And yet how many of us can go to Mass Sunday after Sunday and not receive Him in Holy Communion! How many of us pass by the church, day after day, and do not stop to visit Him! Surely, we do not realize Who is in the Holy Eucharist!
We say "Who" is present, because the Holy Eucharist contains the Body and Blood, the Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. After the Consecration of the Mass, the Host is no longer bread. It has been changed! It is not SOMETHING, It is SOMEONE!
The Host contains a LIVING PERSON, a LOVING PERSON. The Host contains the same Jesus Christ who felt pain, heat, cold and contempt, and who suffered from the sting of ingratitude. The Host contains a Person who understands our difficulties because He Himself experienced many of them. The Host contains a Person who is so tender-hearted that on two occasions, as Holy Scripture tells us, He actually wept. The Host contains the same Jesus who sweat Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He had a vision of all the sins of the entire world, our own personal sins, too, which caused Him untold mental and physical agony!
The Host contains the same divine Person who groaned and gasped for breath as sharp whips tore at His Flesh, ploughed deep furrows in His back, and caused Him to bleed profusely. The Host contains the same God whose head throbbed with pain when the soldiers placed on it a crown of thorns, pressed down the crown, struck it with sticks, and drove the thorns deeper and deeper into His sacred brow. The Host contains the same Savior whose eyes filled with tears, which overflowed and trickled down His bruised and battered cheeks.
The Host contains the same Christ who wrestled with His heavy cross and fell under its great weight several times along the way to Calvary; the same Jesus who was spit upon, cursed, mocked; the same Jesus whose face turned a deathly white, who grasped for breath and moaned as sharp nails were driven through His hands and feet. The Host contains the same Christ who, as He hung dying on the cross, suffered the terrible agony of seeing His own people stand around the cross, mocking and cursing Him. The Host contains the Christ who while hanging on the cross scanned the centuries with His divine penetrating gaze and saw each one of us, His tender Heart pierced with sadness when He saw us sinning against Him, abandoning Him, and ignoring His Gift of the Holy Eucharist! The Host contains the same Jesus who suffered intensely in Soul and Body, and finally died of a broken Heart!
The Host contains the same Jesus who loves all mankind in general, but loves us, individually and personally, as if no other person existed in the world; the same Jesus who love us now, and is continually thinking of us, and loving us with an infinite love.
No, the Host is no longer bread. It is a LIVING PERSON, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself!
If we ponder these truths, how can we be indifferent to the infinite love of Jesus for us in the Blessed Sacrament? How can we foil to receive Holy Communion often? How can we not want to visit Him often, even every day?
If we were convinced of these truths, the most precious moments of our lives would be the minutes we spend with Him in the Blessed Sacrament, the times when we receive Him into our hearts in Holy Communion. Truly, receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, and visiting Him in the tabernacle, will transform our lives! Jesus will give us the graces we need, and make us saints. We must ask Jesus in the Host to help us understand and to appreciate what His being there really means!