Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog 276 Jesus, Human / Divine

Blog #  276  Jesus, Human / Divine

Could you ever imagine it, that God would be sitting on the ground calling a puppy over to Him to play with Him?
Yes that is hard or impossible to imagine. Yet that as a possibility is exactly what we believe of Jesus, capable and willing to share our life on earth, yet keeping His identity as God. It is unimaginable, but real for us by faith
Jesus grew hungry and tired. He ate fish and fell asleep on a cushion in Peter' s boat. He had to walk from Jerusalem to Jericho. He enjoyed the puppies of His day. Yet Jesus is God! In Jesus was all of the human that we know within ourselves with the sole exception of sin. Yet the PERSON of Jesus is divine.
As one of us, Jesus invites us to follow His example of human goodness generosity mercy humility and   prayer. As divine He invites us to share God's very life/Love through Him, with Him and in Him in a very real way. We are invited to experience Jesus not just in a better human life but additionally in a NEW life.

Born from above by faith, we are a NEW CREATION, GOD'S HOLY TEMPLE, THE BODY OF CHRIST, BRANCHES ON A VINE. ( Jn. 3:11; I:11ff; I Cor: 619; Gal 2:20; II Cor 5:17; Rom 12:3ff; I Cor 10:17; Jn. 15:5 and other texts). Here  is the meaning of the supernatural gift we refer to as Sanctifying Grace.
As we begin to reflect upon and understand this new identity of ours it begins to appear almost as unimaginable and as marvelous as the notion of God sitting on the ground and calling a puppy over to Him to play with Him.

The thoughts we are sharing here are some that came to me when I was reflecting on the liturgical readings we used on the 22 Sunday of Ordinary Time back in 2009. ( Deut. 4:1,2,6,8; James I: 17,18,21,22,27; Mark 7: 1-8,14,15,21-23).

Moses tells the people that obedience to the commands of God will bring them a new life and entrance into a new land which God wishes to give them. The process leads to a wisdom on the part of God's People that is a source of inspiration and wonder to their neighbors.

Our life in Jesus is designed to do a similar thing for us. A new patience is to be ours, parent with children, Pastors with people, neighbor with neighbor. A new faithfulness will be ours, a new generosity, a new mercy, a new prayer, a new "land'.

The entire letter of James, and the portion I have referred to above is very clear on the practical effects of our new birth in Jesus. "welcome the word that has taken root in you with its power...Act on it. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves."

And in the Gospel reading Jesus very clearly faults anyone who is taken up merely with the externals of obedience and not its faithful obedient love. Good works done for show can be an obstacle to holiness. Playing with a puppy done out of joy can be a religious experience.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog # 275 Who am I ?

Blog # 275 Who am I ?

 "Live on in me as I do in you... I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him will produce abundantly." John 15:4,

 Through faith and Baptism we are one with Jesus in such an intimate and profound way that our union with Him is given by Jesus and St. Paul as parallel to the union of  branches on a vine and as members of a living body, united in such a way that the one life flows and is active in each living branch and in each living member of the body.

It is fitting therefore for Jesus to ask: "Who do people say I am?", and then " Who do you say I am ? The identity of Jesus is to be, in our own personal and limited way, the identity of each branch and each member of the body. To ask the question "Who is Jesus?" , as a believer and disciple of Jesus, is to ask the question "Who am I?". And though on one occasion Peter had the right answer to that question in words , "You are the Messiah", he did not yet realize the meaning and consequence of being identified with those words.  He realized it better in the tears he shed in sorrow for his denial of Jesus at the time Jesus was crucified.  And he realized it full well when he himself was crucified in the name of Jesus that had become his own. 

God is love. To love means to give. The more we love, the more we give. " You cannot love anyone more than to lay down your life for another." This is because in consciously  'laying down your life', in dying, you have no more to give, you give it all. Jesus was sent and came to tell us this and to live it out in His own life and death. God's plan was that through self-giving, love would be born, and through love eternal glory. Peter seems to have thought we could have glory without love and love without sacrifice. Jesus very clearly told him this cannot be so, and Peter was thinking here like men do, and not as God does. (Mat 16:23). "

"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps." To have it otherwise would be like trying to walk without putting one foot after the other, or a bird trying to fly without opening its wings. There is a design here. God's design. It is the truth about walking and flying, and love. We readily accept and live by the truth about walking and flying. Let's pray that we might understand and live by the truth about love, that we might see it in Jesus, and at His invitation and command make it the truth about ourselves as His disciples, sharing His life and His love as branches on a vine, sent as the First Adam was sent by our Creator to cultivate and care for the same earth as we, warmed by the same sun that warmed the shoulders of Jesus, and motivated by the same zeal for ministry that motivated the historical Jesus and now in our moment of history the Resurrected Jesus in us , to fulfill the vision of Isaiah of justice, peace and love for all people. What a world our world would be!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blog # 273 Broadening our horizon

Blog # 273  Broadening our horizon

It is interesting to me what title comes to mind for a new blog when I sit down here at the computer to compose and type it out.  Three possible titles were competing with one another this morning.  A second to the one I chose was Healing -Two  and a third was God's Presence.  Each could stand on its own, perhaps as well as another, to capture your attention.  But now you have all three and I hope that will help more than any one of them alone to focus and clarify what I hope to share with you in my blog today.

You may have had this experience in your Bible reading,  of a particular passage having a single literal meaning relating a historical fact in the life of Jesus or one of the Prophets, and then some time later, on another occasion, reading  the same passage and noticing something different in it that did not occur to you in previous readings.

An example of this might be the story of the miraculous healing of the ten lepers.  You might find yourself on one occasion simply emphasizing the notion of  being thankful for not being a leper yourself and consequently in need of this particular application of the power wisdom compassion and goodness of Jesus, though appreciative of it in the lives of the ten lepers   and aware that you could trust and experience this same love of Jesus in needs that you do or will have, physical or otherwise.

On another occasion we might find an application of the lepers' story in the petition in the Lord's  Prayer in which we ask the Lord to "lead us not into temptation". Not knowing for sure if I were placed in that story or in one parallel to it at some time in my life , I might wisely ask the Lord that I not be placed in such a situation  until I was a bit more secure, so that I would be identified with the one who came back and fell to his knees in thanks to Jesus rather than among the nine who were indeed happy in their new health but became so involved in  using and enjoying their gift they did not find the time or awareness it would take to thank Jesus for  His goodness and love.

In my preparation for preaching the homily at  Mass on Sunday this week  (23rd Ordinary Time ) I experienced another opportunity to 'broaden my horizon,'  receive a new insight into the healing of a deaf person, and in my awareness of the all-pervasive Presence of God.

The Gospel passage was Mark 7:  31 - 37.  It is the story of Jesus healing a deaf man.  I felt very much a part of the Gospel story.  Back in 1960 I was becoming aware of  some difficulty with hearing.  I had a fenestration operation on my right side.  I could not sense any improvement in my hearing after the surgery.  My left side did not show the symptoms that would permit the doctor to hope an operation on that side would improve the quality of my hearing .  I was at that time what you would call  'hard of hearing' rather than deaf.  Through the years, however, my hearing gradually deteriorated until about ten years ago  I could be labeled as profoundly deaf in both ears.  Currently for all practical purposes my hearing is gone.  I am a deaf man. 

I am content being deaf  because I see my condition as the will of God.  I am not happy because I cannot hear  but because that is the will of God for me, and  living out the will of God should be enough to make anyone happy and content.  I would rather be deaf than to hear myself or anyone else for that matter tell a lie.

You can imagine how happy I was and proud of Jesus in the Gospel yesterday when he gave the deaf man hearing!   Then my horizon was broadened.  I began to realize and be aware that  yesterday  morning and every morning for years  I was healed!   It was the 'work' of my hearing aid.  My horizon was broadened again .  God it was who healed me using the hearing aid as the instrument of His love, just as I can plant a garden but the garden belongs to God.

 I plant a garden.  Neighbors  come by and tell me they came to see my  garden.  At church or at a meeting people ask me " How is your garden doing?   But  the garden belongs to God.  Each seed  planted is designed by God and lives out  
its design in perfect  'obedience'  to God's design.  A lettuce seed will never produce a string bean, nor will  a cauliflower
seed  produce an onion. Distinctive colors shapes and flavors of all that grows in a garden belong to God.  And beyond that, the soil, sunshine, rain and fertilizer all belong to God.  What a wonderful  gift an expanded horizon proves to be when you walk and work  in a garden!

 But like the garden itself  the gift of an expanded horizon  must be received and cultivated.  All ten lepers were healed.  Only one of them was aware of what really happened to them all.  Enjoy your string beans!   But keep yourself aware they all belong to God and they are another way God has of saying : "I love you!".

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blog # 272 Jesus is Risen. So What?

Blog # 272  Jesus is  Risen.  So What?

 Jesus is risen! Our sins are forgiven!  Yes, surely, but I don't think we should limit the effect or focus of the Resurrection to the accomplishment of the forgiveness of sins. I think there is more to the Resurrection than that.   I think we can miss a significant part of the meaning beauty and power of the Resurrection if we limit or identify its primary purpose, and effect  as the forgiveness of our sins.  Our sins are forgiven by and in the Resurrected Jesus, and in  the light of this  I figure there must be something more basic in our theology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection which stands as the foundation of  forgiveness, even as we keep ourselves aware of how glorious  and valuable forgiveness for us might be.
Certainly the Crucifixion and the  Resurrection are related.  The Resurrection stands, for Jesus and the world,  as proof and evidence of the faithfulness and rewarding love of  the Father for the Incarnate Word,  Jesus on earth,  in response to the perfect obedience, unconditional trust, and total love of the human Jesus on the Cross.     

What joy should be ours that God sent His Son to live among us and then to die and rise as a sign and expression of God's mercy power and love for all who believe. But just as when the sun rises in the morning the darkness of the night must go, so the light of the risen Savior will come into our hearts and lives only to the extent we cast out the darkness which is sin. We must cast out sin if we wish to have the peace and light that Jesus came to bring. Certainly the forgiveness of our sins is a wonderful fruit of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 

To the message of Jesus, whether He be preaching that message through the meekness and humility of the Christmas stable or through the eternal wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount, there have always been different reactions and responses  on the part of different men and women. Whether Christ be telling us of the power compassion  and goodness of God through His healing of the sick and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, whether He be telling us of the strength of God's love for us from the cross, or of the unlimited faithfulness of God our Father through the Resurrection, there have always been different responses to His message.

When Jesus preached voluntary poverty to the rich young man as told in the nineteenth chapter of St. Matthew, the young man went away sad. When Jesus preached forgiveness of sins to Peter and to Judas, Peter went out and wept.  Judas hung himself on a tree. When Jesus died on the cross between them one thief cursed Him and the other became a saint.
 Jesus is the same, yesterday today and forever. If we are faithful to His message of  love and goodness, we can be sure that one day we will share with Jesus through His victory over sin and death in the glory of His eternal life in Heaven.
Jesus desires this for each of us. Only we can tell Him no. Only we can tell Him yes.

May we love God above all and love one another as Jesus loves us! Nothing else really matters.  Anything and everything that is good can be useful in developing, and expressing our love for God and one another. This love for God and others is not, by its very nature,  competitive with personal joy and peace.  Rather it is the   foundation and cause of  these gifts which stem from love.  Sorrow and  suffering may come but these can and should be transformed into love and consequently bring peace and joy to ourselves and one another,  praise and thanks to Jesus,  and a more complete  and more perfect experience  of  the unconditional total love we have come to call worship.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blog # 271 Healing

Blog # 271 Healing

This blog comes in response to Isaiah Chapter 9: 1  - 5 and Isaiah Chapter 11: 1 - 9, coupled with Mark 1: 40 - 45.

Isaiah is telling God's people  about God's  great power and love for them. There is no need to be afraid. God is within us! The blind will see, The deaf will hear. The lame will run. Those who cannot speak now will sing. Water is promised even for the desert! God's power is without limit. God's love is real.  Isaiah  presents a wonderful and clear image of Jesus. These passages are traditionally and well used  as stepping off points for Christmas reflections.  

In the passage from Mark Jesus lives out the prophecy of Isaiah.  The story is of a leper whom Jesus heals  by simply declaring the leper to be healed.  Jesus possesses, demonstrates, and shares the compassion, power, and love of God  in Himself.  This is clear and wonderful.  A strange element enters the story when Mark tells us Jesus asked the man who was healed not to tell anyone about the cure. "Not a word to anyone, now." Jesus said.  The .man went off and began to proclaim the whole matter freely, making the story public.   As a result of this, it was no longer possible for Jesus to enter a town openly.  He stayed in desert places; yet people kept coming to Him from all sides."

This is as it seems to have happened regularly.  The people missed the point of what Jesus had come among them to say and do.  They wanted gifts for the present life.  Jesus came with the message and gift of  eternal life. They sought to be able to talk to walk and to hear.  Jesus as one of us understood first hand their desires.  But He was sent to give them something more

Jesus wanted to give them something to say, someplace to go, and a message to hear and proclaim that could come from no other source than God. With God's power over nature within Him, Jesus could produce physical healing by merely willing it.  But in God's design that would not be enough  to satisfy God's love for those who would trust and believe in Jesus. 

Others could heal the body in the name of God and in some instances, in their own minds, independently of God's name. But Jesus is among us not as a physician, to heal the body more quickly or wisely or more generously than others, indeed perhaps, in the name of God's love and as an example  to others who might dedicate themselves to the welfare of their neighbors on earth. Rather Jesus is God's love. Jesus healed and performed physical cures to that we would know He has God's power and love within Him, yes. But He wanted us to know as well the more important truth that God's plan for us was not that we should all and always have healthy bodies fine homes and long lives on earth. Rather God's plan called us all to be holy, have peace of mind, and even now by faith to possess protect and enjoy a new life, God's life/love within us, that would last forever.

The people in our passage from Mark did not understand this and they went after all of their friends who were sick and crippled to bring them to Jesus for physical healing.

Let us pray:  Jesus, help us to understand the message of Your life. Guide us so we do not miss the point of it. Help us to stand in awe at the reality of God's life in You and shared by faith in our own finite individual unique way. Heal  us of whatever it might be that hinders us from seeing hearing and following You in the challenges opportunities and gifts of the Father's love that we receive each day throughout our lives.   

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blog # 270 Love

Blog # 270 Love.

               From the ordinary person who lives next door to you, or across the road, to the wisest professor of human psychology at Harvard or Columbia Universities, all of us know something about love.

               Throughout the Bible we see the importance of love in all we do. Love is shown as taking the weight from human burdens we must bear. When Jacob served seven years to obtain Rachel for his wife, the book of Genesis tells us the seven years seemed but a few days to him because of the greatness of his love. The Prophets Amos, Micah, and Zachariah tell us to love what is good, to love mercy, to love truth and peace.

                We as Christians are constantly being taught and urged to love God and to love one another. St. Paul said that of the three virtues of faith hope and love, love is the greatest. The Apostle John says that God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him. The Prophets, the law, and  the Commandments are summed up in the simple command to love God above all and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

                Perhaps the closest we come to a direct definition of love in the Bible are the words of Jesus when He said: No greater love than this can a man have than that he lay down his life for a friend. In every quest for a definition of love, from a reflection upon our own experience, from consultation with married couples, from study of books on human psychology, from a survey of the Bible, it seems we could come up with no more perfect a definition of love than to say to love means to give, and the more we love the more we give.

            For this reason Jesus could say there is no greater love possible for a person than to give one's life, for in giving our life we have no more to give. In death alone is it possible to give it all. Until our very last breath we have that breath to give. We may not be conscious at the instant of our death and so capable to give our last breath at that instant.  So we give it, and everything that will be ours this side of it in our life's story, in the simple daily prayer referred to as The Act of Love:  O my God, I love you with all my heart and all my soul because You are all good and worthy of all my love. 

              Whether the love we speak of is the love of a wife for her husband and a husband for his wife, parents for children, a man for his country, brothers and sisters for one another, believers for their God or God for His people, the definition is the same, to love means to give, the more we love the more we give. Kindness patience forgiveness affection hugs and kisses time assistance and prayer are all gifts that lovers give one another to establish express and deepen their love for one another.

              Nothing that is good need be excluded from love. Nothing is as important in all of our life as love. There are more than seven billion people living on earth today. We are here because God loves us. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I love you. God told me that's OK.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blog # 269 MIssionaries !

Blog # 269 Missionaries !

In a well known passage from St. Mark's Gospel, chapter 4:30-32 compares the reign of God to a mustard seed. Reflection briefly on that passage brought to mind several other texts each of which focuses upon the essential missionary nature of the Church.

I think we are all familiar with these and similar texts. "Go and preach the Good News to all the world." "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." ""The harvest is good but the laborers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest."

Popes and Bishops have regularly used such texts in reminding us of our identity as missioners, people who have been sent into the world around us with a message. From John Paul II: " No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid their supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all people."  Several texts from the Document on missionary activity issued officially by the Second Vatican Council are clear and powerful in identifying every believer by virtue of Baptism as sent to proclaim and give witness to the reign of God among us.

Here are some samples: "The Pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature." "What was once preached by the Lord or what was wrought in Him for the saving of the human race must be proclaimed and spread abroad to the ends of the earth...Thus what He once accomplished for the salvation of all may in the course of time come to achieve its effect in all." "The Holy Spirit instills into the hearts of the faithful the same mission spirit which motivated Christ Himself." "Prompted by the Holy Spirit, the Church must walk the same road which Christ walked, a road of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice to the death from which He came forth a victor by His resurrection."

"This missionary activity finds its reason in the will of God." "Missionary activity is closely bound up too with human nature itself and its aspirations. For Christ is the source and model of that renewed humanity penetrated with brotherly love, ,and a peaceful spirit to which all aspire." As members of the living Christ all the faithful are duty bound to cooperate in the expansion and growth of His Body so that they can bring it to fullness as swiftly as possible."  "Let all realize that their first and most important obligation toward the spread of the faith is this: to lead a profoundly Christian life."

These few texts are samples of the many we could use to express the Church's faith and conviction that ALL who have been recreated as Paul put it or born from above as St. John had it are identified and sent into the world as Jesus was. As a religious minority here in Georgia we Catholics could be tempted to say we are too small in numbers to make a significant impact upon the growth of the Church in our community. The quotation from St, Mark with which we began seems to address that very problem. " a mustard seed, the smallest of all, yet it grows...:

So the question presents itself, what are we doing to spread the Good News? What can we do? None of us can do everything but all of us can do something. Maybe a good place to begin is to pray. "Rising early, Jesus went off to a lonely place ...there He was absorbed in prayer." ( Mark I:35).
Here is the official prayer Glenmary received from our Founder, Father Bishop, back in 1939 when he began to gather around himself a few others who were the orginal members of the Home Missioners of  America.  I joined him and them in 1947. There were very few days between now and then when I didn't pray it several times. 

Lord Jesus Christ Who for the salvation of all people founded Your Church in the blood of  Sacrifice, look with mercy on this land of ours where your truth is unknown to many for whom You endured you passion and death. We commend to Your Sacred Heart the work of carrying Your Gospel to the mission regions of America. Raise up holy and zealous apostles to bring Your words of  salvation to souls now thirsting for the truth.  Have mercy on them, Lord, and send shepherds to lead them into Your one true fold. Amen!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blog # 268 John 6 - Analogies

Blog # 268  John 6 - Analogies

These thoughts are not intended as an effort to to 'prove' our faith in the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus in the Mass or in the tabernacle which is an absolute mystery,   known to us through its revelation  by God, by faith rather than by any other proof .  Rather they have served me and hopefully will help you by causing me to wonder at these particular natural phenomena so that  placed against  the wonder of our faith in the Eucharist we can see the same powerful compassionate God at work.

A Camel, a palm tree, a mirror, some whole wheat bread, and Chapter 6 of John's Gospel.  Though these few realities do not seem at first glance to have anything directly to do with  Jesus and Chapter 6 of John's Gospel they have helped me to clarify deepen and appreciate my faith in what Jesus was trying to share with the people gathered before Him in Chapter 6.

At great length Jesus tries to explain and insists that His life, His flesh and blood, are part of God's plan of salvation and are consequently necessary to sustain in us individually the divine life He came on earth to share.  Recall John's stated purpose in writing his Gospel: "...that you may have LIFE in His  name" ( Jn 20: 30,31).  This is the real supernatural life of Baptism. the Eucharist, and the other Sacraments to which we refer in the term Sanctifying  Grace, the gift of God's divine life shared with us in our own unique individual finite way.  It is the  life Jesus was speaking of to the crowds in Chapter 6 and they missed the point.

Here are the analogies I have found useful. Imagine yourself over in the  Sahara desert.  Looking across the sand, about a  hundred yards away you see a camel and a palm tree.   The whole camel, the whole palm tree, large as they are, must be  present or 'contained' in some way in the eye if they are to be seen. It is a special presence.  It is not a physical presence. I cannot touch the camel or the tree.  There are no wires bulbs or batteries.  All that is required is: 1) something to see, 2) light, and 3)a seeing eye.  We can have the same experience with anything that is visible.  Try it with a cup of coffee three feet away from you in your wife's hand, or closer with a ballpoint pen held in your hand.  All the items we see have a real physical dimension that is real in themselves.  Retaining their same physical reality they have a real special reality and 'presence' in our eye.

That begins to sound similar what we believe as applicable to the  real presence of Jesus identified and present in His laying down His life for love of all people in obedience to the Father's will on Calvary, at the  Last Supper, in every valid Eucharist that is offered, and in tabernacles around the world. We believe Jesus is present with a very special supernatural presence in the Last Supper, the Mass and in the tabernacle. As for the camel and the eye, the conditions for this to be what Jesus tried to share in Chapter 6  are real and clear. 

1: the historical physical experience of Calvary,  the Last Supper, and the consecrated hosts in the tabernacle must be real. 2): as for the camel,  the mysterious  power of  light brings the object seen to our eyes, so the mysterious power of faith  translates the suffering of Calvary into unconditional trust and total love and presents this same infinite love in Jesus, on Calvary, at the  Last Supper and in the Holy  Sacrifice of the Mass, and 3) makes this love present and available individually and uniquely to those who by faith and Baptism are one with Jesus and believe.   

What those standing around the  Cross as Jesus died saw was a criminal suffering punishment, but what the Father and Jesus saw was an act of sacrificial worship and  the greatest act of  love the world had ever seen.  That is what Jesus wanted the crowds in Chapter 6 to know.  Some of the people to whom Jesus was  speaking  in Chapter 6  might have afterward been among those who shouted out to Pilot :Crucify Him" and all God could give them was blood and suffering.  One of those standing there was John.  He saw it all from up close. He saw the love and did not walk away.  He believed  and gave us Chapter 6 so we, now, two thousand years later, would have a better idea of the reality of Calvary the Last Supper and the Mass and with the light of faith share personally and uniquely in that infinite love.

"No greater love than this can anyone have than to lay down one's life...Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in him..(Jn 3: 14,15...I myself am the living bread come down from heaven.  If anyone eats this bread he shall live foreverer; the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 

A mirror can tell us more than whether or not our hair is combed.  We  do not have to prove what I am going to say about a mirror and how it can be applied by analogy to the presence of Jesus in the  Eucharistic Bread by actually breaking a mirror, but if you need to do that it will be worth it.  I appear in the mirror , head and hair, ears and  mouth, only one of me;  I am alone.  Break the mirror and I am 'whole and entire'  in each broken piece.  We believe something similar to this by analogy as regards the presence of Jesus in each of the pieces of a broken consecrated host.  As the Eucharistic  Presence itself,  it is a mystery to me, but no challenge at all to the infinite power and love of  Jesus in Holy Communion.     

Each morning at breakfast I change bread into my body and my life.  How can anyone who calls himself or  herself Christian say that God did not or could not change bread into His Body if God desired to be as close to our ordinary lives as bread can be?  Yet God desired to be that real and that close to all who would believe in the testimony and proclamation of Jesus, God's Son. It is no challenge to God's infinite love !

What a design the mystery of the Eucharist is! We might be tempted to think it would have been nice if the historical Jesus stayed on earth and would teach us 'first hand', as He taught the  A.postles and His other faithful disciples.  It would have been very difficult for Him to present Himself as 'one of us in all things but sin' and at the same time be chalking up at His next birthday more than two thousand years! It could  easily have been the makings of  one more excuse someone might come up with in order to justify himself in closing his mind to the teaching of Jesus and walking away from His love.  As it is, on the  other hand, believers all over the world are united to Him individually and uniquely in the intimacy of Holy Communion and in the hope the power of the divine promise of God we share can give, we will "be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."