‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.’
‘Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’
The great desire of my God is that I believe and recognise that God is with me.
This is the message of the Bible.
This is why God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, became a human being and lived and died among us.
God made Man; Jesus of Nazareth, demonstrated to me, by word and example, that his sole concern is my total welfare. My God wants me to have a long, happy and healthy life here on earth before joining Him in Eternal Life.
The world will try and convince me that happiness is getting plastered drunk on Friday night and making a total ass of myself.
The Eucharist; Holy Communion, is the great symbol of Emmanuel. The visible and tangible sign of my God’s presence with me and in me.
Holy Communion – the Eucharist, the Mass – is not given to me so that I can spend time in adoration. It is to remind me that Jesus of Nazareth is with me and in me so that I may go forth and live as he did in Galilee, showing compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, sharing my good fortune with, and helping my fellow human beings, as and when I can.
A big problem with me is my ability to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and then go forth as intolerant, unforgiving, selfish, nasty and mean as when I came in.
The latter is comedy; it is a big joke.
So receiving Holy Communion is not about spending a short time in prayer and adoration but about going forth and living as Jesus of Nazareth lived.
‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.’
A second aspect of Holy Communion, of the Eucharist, is remembering.
Remembering that on Holy Thursday evening just before his arrest, he celebrated the Last Supper with his Apostles and instructed them to do this in memory of him. This is the Mass, the Eucharist.
So when I receive Holy Communion I remember. I remember not only the Last Supper but also the Passion, execution, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
I look on the Crucifix and ask myself, can I trust one who is willing to undergo such an ordeal on my behalf?