“And he said to them, ‘I have ardently longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’ (Luke 22:15, NJB).
On the night before He died, Jesus sat in the Upper Room with His disciples, in order to celebrate the Passover with them. But this Passover would be different than any other that they had celebrated. For at this celebration, Jesus’ disciples would partake not of an ordinary lamb, but of The Lamb who would take away the sins of the world.
Many times, we can lose sight of the intimacy Jesus desires to have with us, relegating Him to a lofty transcendent King on His Throne “up there”, infinitely distant from us, His lowly serfs. We can so easily miss what He said to His disciples at this very Last Supper, “You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father” (John 15:14-15, NJB). Consider, then, Jesus’ friendship. We are not servants, nor even acquaintances, but as He tells the Disciples, “I have ardently longed to eat this Passover with you” (Luke 22:15). And, knowing that that Last Supper was, in fact, the First in which He comes to us hidden in the Host, shall we not understand Him to have that same eagerness and longing to spend that time with us?
Let us again marvel at this Gift, which the Church rightly calls the Source and Summit of our Faith! The Hidden Jesus (as the children of Fatima to whom our Blessed Mother appeared, called Him) Who, full of humility, came to us originally as a Baby so that we might lovingly cuddle Him in our arms—Who suffered horribly so that we could, as redeemed children, be held in His loving arms—now even more humbly shows us His love, and bundles His infinity up so that we may welcome Him into ourselves, in an utter act of mutual surrender. He Himself becomes “our daily bread” for which He taught us to pray; the Living Bread which came down from Heaven and gives us eternal life. And though He is Hidden, He is as physically, tangibly present as He was when He calmed the sea, cured the sick, suffered, died, and rose again! He truly is Emmanuel: God with us—who promised to be with us even to the end of the age, and who keeps that promise, abiding with us in every Tabernacle throughout the world, inviting us to participate in Calvary and make His sacrifice our own.
And that is precisely the flipside of the blessing of His Presence. Through His gift of Himself in the Eucharist, He makes His sacrifice present to us. We participate in His sacrifice of two millenia past by making it literally, spiritually present on the altar. Just like the ancient Hebrews participated in the lamb’s saving Passover blood by eating it, so we too participate in the Lamb of God’s saving Passover blood by eating Him in Holy Communion. We bring Him into our very being, and His grace transforms us to be more and more like Him!
Just as with His Apostles of two thousand years ago, Jesus ardently longs to be with us. He has made Himself readily available to us. All He asks is for the faith to respond to His invitation: “Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side” (Revelation 3:20).
Jesus said, “This is My Body…This is My Blood…” Let us have the faith to take Him at His Word, and receive Him, truly present, as often as we can. Let us take the time to adore Him as He remains present in the Tabernacle, or in the Monstrance, remembering that He is also in our hearts and our bodies. Let us love Him with the same selfless abandon with which He has loved and continues to love us.
Have a blessed Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord!
If publishing article online please attribute source Serviam Ministries with link to original article.