Saturday, June 17, 2017

Corpus Christi: God is near

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalm 147 Praise the Lord, Jerusalem; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58

"What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us?" (Deut 4:7).  This saying of Moses from the old Testament requires its true sublimity only in the Church, in God; new people.

For in Israel, God humbled himself in his speaking to Moses and thus had drawn near to his people, but now he himself has taken flesh, has become a man among men, and has remained in such a mysterious way that he places himself in our hands and in our hearts in the Eucharist.

God is so near that he could be no closer.

Receiving communion means entering into communion with Jesus. St Paul reveals this insight to us in the second reading, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of christ?"

The Eucharist means, God has answered: The Eucharist is God as an answer, as an answering presence.  This is why we bow our heads before receiving his presence.  Any genuine human love invites us into an element of bowing down before the God-given dignity of the other person.  In the Eucharist we have communion with Jesus and his greatness thus there remains a spirit of adoration necessary before this answering presence that draws near to us.

In the Eucharist God is so near he could be no closer.

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and i will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my body is true drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." John 6:51-58