Pater tales queril qui adoreni cum…in spiritu et veritate –
The Father seeks such to adore Him….in spirit and in truth ~ John 4:23
I became obsessed with understanding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist in my spiritual quest. I prayed over it, mulled it over, researched reasoned other possible meanings trying to wrap my understanding around this difficult concept.
53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
And then finally, I was able to make peace with it, not that it mattered to Jesus, but it did to me. I “got” it.
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
And I found myself asking the same question – did I wish to go away, to leave in disbelief because this was a hard teaching?
My answer was – no. And with that I became fascinated with Eucharistic Adoration and what that meant to us as followers. I happened on a beautiful book by St. Peter Julian Eymard and thought some of his writings on Eucharistic adoration and the relationship between Jesus birth and sacramental birth are perfect for meditation as we wait for Christ’s coming.
From: The Real Presence. St. Peter Julian Eymard
The object of Eucharistic adoration is the Divine Person of our Lord Jesus Christ present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, He is living there, He wants us to speak to Him, and He will speak to us. Anybody may speak to the Lord. Is He not there for everyone?
This conversation between the soul and our Lord is the true Eucharistic adoration.
It is not difficult to find a relationship between the birth of Jesus in the stable and His sacramental birth on the altar and in our hearts.
Who does not see that the hidden life of Nazareth is continued in the divine Host of the Tabernacle and the Passion of the Man-God on Calvary is renewed in the Holy Sacrifice at every moment of the day and night and all over the world? Happy is the soul who knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Eucharist all things!
We wait for the child to be born to us.
The Eucharist was sown at Bethlehem. The Eucharist, the “living bread” must be sown. It must fall into the soil, spring up, ripen and be harvested and then be ground before it can be made into good bread.
When Jesus was born on the straw of the stable, the Word was preparing the Eucharist, which He considered the complement of all His other mysteries. He was coming to be united with man and through the Eucharist, He would consummate the most perfect union that humankind is capable of attaining, a physical and personal union through the Eucharist.
His whole life our Lord prepared the Eucharist in secret, the heavenly wheat was as it were sown in Bethlehem the “house of bread”. See the wheat on the straw, trodden and crushed representing poor humanity, of itself barren. The grain sown, the tears of Jesus will make it grow into beautiful wheat. Bethlehem is built on a hill facing Jerusalem, when the ear is ripened, it shall lean toward Calvary where it shall be ground and be set on the fire of suffering to become a living bread.
See how the Eucharist began at Bethlehem, He was even then the Emmanuel, “God with us”, who was coming to dwell among His people. At Bethlehem the Word was made flesh. At Bethlehem, He concealed His divinity in order to familiarize man with God. He veiled His divine glory as a first step to the veiling of His humanity. He bound His power in the weakness of a child’s body; later he would bind it beneath the Sacred Species.
Mary and Joseph were the first adorers of the Word incarnate. The believed firmly their faith was their virtue:
Beata, quae credidisti – “Blessed art thou that hast believed”.
They adored Him by virtue of their faith.
Knowledge is imparted to us in the Eucharist by God Himself, who constitutes Himself our special and personal teacher.
Et crunt omnes docibiles Dei,” And they shall all be taught of God”.
He no longer sends us prophets, He Himself is now our teacher. “You shall know all things” for He is divine Knowledge itself, uncreated and infinite. That is how the Eucharist completes the restoration begun in the crib, on this day the sun of the Eucharist is rising. Let your gratitude never separate crib from the altar, the Word made flesh from the God-Man made bread of life in the Most Blessed Sacrament.