From Jesus, Present Before Me: Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration
From the first instant that Jesus Christ came to be in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord began to live his final promise: I am with you always. Throughout his life on Earth, Jesus prepared for the everlasting presence he would offer us in the Eucharist. The Lord’s forty-day fast in the desert taught him firsthand that to be human means being hungry and thirsty. We starve for truth and meaning; we thirst for what will totally satisfy. No wonder Christ’s first parable has as its protagonist a sower whose planted seed promises a hundredfold harvest, or that his first miracle at Cana produces a flood of miraculous wine. As the Lord went about his ministry, he was struck by the certainty of the blind man who could not see Christ’s presence but who pleaded for it all the same.
Conversely, Christ was overcome by the way absence at the death of Lazarus devastated Lazarus’s sisters, Martha and Mary. The onslaught of absence prompted Jesus to make Lazarus present again by bringing him back to life. That event anticipated the real presence of his Resurrection which Christ would offer the whole sorrowing world in the Eucharist. The faith of the centurion who declared, Only say the word and my servant will be healed, assured Jesus that his believers were ready for an experience of his healing presence that transcends the restrictions of his physical attendance in a place. And when the solitary leper of the ten who had been cleansed returned to Jesus to offer him thanksgiving, the Lord was deeply moved. Christ witnessed how powerfully the leper’s act of thanksgiving completed his healing and restored his humanity. Perhaps at that moment the Lord resolved to leave us a graced way of offering thanks by which we can be perpetually made new. For the rest of his life, that cured leper lived out of the memory of the day that Jesus healed him; for him it was an event that never ended.
The memorial of the Eucharist remains a moving acknowledgment of Christ’s presence that shapes the way we think, feel, act, and live. As we adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we pray that we may receive the Eucharistic imagination of Jesus whereby “our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist, in turn, confirms our way of thinking.”