Sometimes it takes the little epiphanies to bring you out of the doldrums of life. I’d had a lousy week: work has been painfully slow, with my boss and I disagreeing about just about everything, and probably as a consequence, I fell back into some habits that I thought I’d broken long ago. But, the sheer reality of our faith brought me back. First, I experienced the humbling reality of God’s forgiveness in Confession. And, then, this morning, I witnessed and received the reality of the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist. These are no mere symbols; we don’t just go through the motions presuming forgiveness and oneness with our God.

I was praying along with our pastor during the Eucharistic Prayer, and the awesomeness of it all shook me to my core. When our Lord told us to abide in Him, to be one with Him, to eat His body and drink His blood, he wasn’t being symbolic. He Himself isn’t symbolic; He isn’t some apparition, appearing to be God in human flesh, nor is He just a man adopted by God to be His Son. He truly is God, fully human and fully divine. He is with us always, as the Gospel reading for today reminds us, to the end of the age, until the end of time. He is with us spiritually; His presence is with us everywhere; there is nowhere we can hide from Him. But, He is also with us physically in the Eucharist. We need His presence in both ways, because the Incarnation is real. We aren’t the branches of a simply symbolic, spiritual vine.

Thanks be to God for giving us the fullness of the faith. Despite all our scandals, all the error being taught, all the shepherds not leading, all the sheep not following, we still have the Sacraments. And since we do, we can still experience the full presence of God every day. And for that, I am so grateful. As St. Athanasius wrote in De Incarnatione Verbi Dei:

He, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God. He manifested Himself by means of a body in order that we might perceive the Mind of the unseen Father. He endured shame from men that we might inherit immortality. He Himself was unhurt by this, for He is impassable and incorruptible; but by His own impassability He kept and healed the suffering men on whose account He thus endured. In short, such and so many are the Savior’s achievements that follow from His Incarnation, that to try to number them is like gazing at the open sea and trying to count the waves. One cannot see all the waves with one’s eyes, for when one tries to do so those that are following on baffle one’s senses. Even so, when one wants to take in all the achievements of Christ in the body, one cannot do so, even by reckoning them up, for the things that transcend one’s thought are always more than those one thinks that one has grasped.


1 Response to “Fullness”

  1. 1 Jeni June 13, 2006 at 10:20 am

    This is a great article by Mary Ann Kreitzer posted on my parishes website.


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