On Sunday mornings, after going to church services, many people eat out at the favorite diner or restaurant. I like to see family eat together. This scenario reminded me of one of my Lectio Divina meditations on having a meal with Christ, a.k.a. The Eucharist. I got to thinking of how we who have not had the privilege and honor of meeting Jesus in person can actually have breakfast with Jesus. That is exactly what happens when we go to Eucharist.
It is always difficult when the founder of a movement or a religious order dies. I am thinking of Mother Theresa in particular and how her community had to go on without her enthusiastic spirit to help them. The same could be told of the Apostles in the upper room. Jesus came to them again. They must have been flushed with excitement to see Christ once again in the flesh, although they knew his body had died. The rumors of his resurrection from the dead were fresh and spread among the disciples. What stood out for me in this upper room experience was the statement, “Blessed are those who do not see yet believe.” (John 20:29) I like this passage because it is the way I believe. What Jesus handed off to the Apostles happened 2000 years ago, yet we have the same Christ in front of us, not in memory but in reality. How is Christ made real in these our days of unbelief and actual hostility to the message of Christ to love one another? As usual, the answer was right under my nose, when I had breakfast with Christ at Eucharist.
Here are my thoughts. It all begins well before I go to Eucharist. There is the period of temptation that floods me with ideas such as you don’t need to go today, just lay in bed for twenty more minutes, or why waste your time going to la-la land, or even the famous one about you can meet Jesus on the golf course as well as you can at church? Every time I try to be in the presence of Christ, I am tempted. Every time!
The reason for Church is a gathering of the faithful to proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. Church is not only a building but the living Body of Christ in this age. The Church universal is composed of those who have died and gone before us in Faith, those who struggle with the effects of original sin while still on this earth, and those awaiting purification for their sins. It is a sign of deeper spiritual awareness when you can see Christ in those around you, particularly those with whom you disagree or who are repulsive. St. Benedict has that idea in his Rule, Chapter 53, The Reception of Guests. “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. (Matt 25:35).
That in all things, may God be glorified. –St. Benedict