Saturday, January 4, 2014

Jesus Had Me Surrounded

I just returned from a Saturday evening Mass, on the eve of a snowstorm in St. Louis ... if you think Christmas Eve is crowded, you have no idea!  (Personally, I found it pretty darn awesome.)  Shoulder-to-shoulder with my brothers and sisters after Communion, I had the simple thought, "Jesus has me surrounded."  And it was absolutely true. 
I found myself in the middle of a visible manifestation of that tremendous mystery written of by St. Paul: "we who are many are one Body, for we all partake of the one Bread" (1 Cor. 10:17).  Our communion in Jesus' sacrifice (made present in the Eucharist) creates the Church and deepens its unity.  As St. Augustine taught, "“If you have received worthily, you are what you have received [the Body of Christ]." There I sat, visibly surrounded by other cells of Jesus' Mystical Body!  It is a constant spiritual reality - for each of us - and tonight's experience made it visible.  Pretty cool that it happened as we celebrate Epiphany, Jesus' "manifestation" to the Gentiles (represented in the Magi).

Let me leave you with one last thought:  The next time you and your brothers and sisters are walking to your cars after Mass, remember these words of St. John Chrysostom, "Let us return from that Table like lions breathing out fire, terrifying to the devil!"  (Yeah, they didn't call St. John "the golden-tongued" (chrysostom) for nothing.)

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