We as Catholics did not look too good in the news today. Throughout the news media there were discussions on the startling statistic that Catholics knew the least about religion. Is it not amazing that so called atheists knew the most about religion when questioned. Yes, atheists were the best informed. An amazing 45% of us did not know of the Real Presence. That in the bred and wine we receive at mass Jesus Christ is really truly present. In the reality of the Eucharist the historical Jesus, is present as the Risen Christ. We, because of our Baptism are the living presence of the same Jesus Christ. The historical Jesus is now living, walking, talking, loving , crying, within the reality of us living out our daily life. Whenever you or I touch someone, that is the touch of Christ. When you are reaching out in compassion, and understanding, the compassionate, understanding ministry of Christ continues to have life. What wonder- full faith our God has in each one of us that we are called, gifted, and consecrated to carry on the ministry of Christ, our brother. I guess you can say we are called to be in the Family business. Isn’t that one way of looking at this mystery?
I would like to suggest the fact we do not know, and so do not believe, all the ramifications of our Baptism, all that is presented to us is so hard to believe. How can our limited lives contain and reflect the mystery of the many presences of God? How can we, as oh so limited human beings, carry on the Mission and the Ministry of the Godman, Jesus Christ? We must ask for the gift of deepening faith to let go of our narrow, comfortable, understanding so we can be led in the vastness of the mystery we are called to be. May I suggest it is because we do not allow ourselves to be led ever deeper into Mystery, we lose out on the great mysteries which are the foundation of who we are as Catholic Christians. When we receive the Eucharist how many will say, and believe here is the living reality of Jesus Christ not only meeting, but encountering the reality of the same Jesus who walked this earth 2,000 years ago? In the Eucharist, Christ meets Christ. In all that we are, He finds His life, in us HE has his existence and his being. Just as in the same Christ we live and move and have our being. We as it were, complement one another. Where we are, Christ IS. Where we are, the church, as The Body of Christ, is.
Last week I mentioned how important spiritual reading is. I find this reading to be encouraging, challenging, and threatening to my preconceived ideas and false conceptions. There was a great expression in the 70s, when we came across something which really made us stand up and pay attention-what “Blew our minds". "You blow my mind” was such a common expression. Well that is what spiritual reading does for me, and has been doing for many many years now. The following is from Fr. Rolheiser’s book “Against an Infinite Horizon". WARNING this is not for the narrow minded, or the closed minded. I hope it will "Blow Your Mind"!
"Gabriel Marcel once said; "To love is to say, you at least will never die”. That might sound like romantic wishful thinking, but in Christian faith we believe that this is deep insight, an article of faith, a truth of the Incarnation. If we take the Incarnation seriously, then to love someone is to say to that person "You will never die because, in this life and the next, you will never be separated from the community of life, God's family, because in accepting my love you are touching the Body of Christ just as really as did anyone who touched the historical Jesus. You will never die and you will never go to hell because you are bound to Christ. ... The truth is rather that, as the body of Christ on earth, we can continue to do all the things that Jesus did and, as Jesus himself says in the John's Gospel (4:12), we can even do greater things. Scripture tells us that we are the body of Christ on earth. It does not say that we are like the His body, or that we replace His body, or even that we are His mystical body (which would not be so wrong, if we understood "mystical" in the deep sense of the word). Our Christian faith informs us that we are the body of Christ--flesh, blood, tangible, visible, physical, available to be touched, and all of this definitely and clearly residing in nameable persons on this earth. We are the ongoing incarnation of God, the anointed ones of God, Christ."
Pretty good stuff, no…..on second thought, that is GREAT stuff. The stuff our faith needs if we are to live the dream our God has dreamt for you and I. So continue to enter the dream of God, as revealed to us in the life and the person, of the historical Jesus, who became The Christ of God. Live what you know and so be led into the unknown.