Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Corpus Christi Sunday 2014 - Dedicated to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ 22nd June 2014

                                              Faith in His Presence

Introduction :

When the two disciples who had walked with Our Lord to Emmaus looked back afterwards at their experience; they must have realized that never again could they think of Jesus Christ as simply absent. The Risen Lord is always present in the Upper Room,on the Emmaus road,beside the Sea of Galilee, on top of Mount Olivet, everywhere.

Old Testament Presence :

The presence of the Lord is one of the great themes of the Old Testament by which the teachers of Israel were unconsciously preparing for Christ. It began in the desert in a tent or tabernacle. The word "Tabernacle" means "Tent", where Moses kept the Ark of the Covenant. This was called the "Tent of Meeting" and there Moses would come to consult the Lord.

New Testament Presence :

In the New Law, the presence of the divinity is given a new centre in the person of Jesus Christ. For Christians who are Catholics therefore, the first tabernacle of God is the "Flesh of Christ". When in the Middle Ages, the Church began to develop its devotion to the Body of Christ in the Sacrament; it often built the place of reservation in the form of a tent, even if the material was stone or wood and this place became the new "Tabernacle" of God.

Just as the disciples at Emmaus learned their lesson about the divine presence from their experience on the road, so most of us learn it from our experience of the "Tabernacle".

The Sacrament of Presence :

As we know, there are many ways in which Christ becomes present to us, but at the centre of them all and maintaining our belief in all the others stands the tabernacle.

The "Reserved Sacrament" is for us, the Sacrament of Presence.

A Deeper Notion of Presence :

This also helps us to appreciate how in its higher forms "Presence" should be mutual. It is one thing for Christ to be present to us in the tabernacle; it is another thing for us to be present to him.

Indeed here, we see one of the great purposes of the tabernacle. It is not just to bring his presence to us, since he is present to us already in so many ways; but this form of his presence is intended precisely to bring about our presence to him. It is really in view of this mutual sharing of presence that the "Reserved Sacrament" is called the Sacrament of Presence.

Mutual Presence :

Finally, we discover here how the tabernacle fulfils a role which the Mass by itself cannot do.

There is so much happening during " The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" and we are hopefully active in the liturgy in so many ways that rarely during Mass do we have the peace and quiet to concentrate on the wonder of this mutual presence between Our Lord and ourselves.

This then is what we can do more easily before the tabernacle.

Credits: Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
             July 2007,Vol 9 No 3
             "Faith in his Presence" by Raymond Maloney
             Pages 18-19

Notes : To know more about the "Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist"

Log on to http://www.therealpresence.org/

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