Creative Minority Report recently posted a beautiful clip of a 10-year-old's reaction to her father's surprise return home (safe and sound) from Iraq. I must have watched it a dozen times, and I would invite my readers to do the same.
The Return from Iraq - Click here for another funny movie.
This past Sunday at Mass, it occurred to me as I was adoring Jesus in the Holy Eucharist that what is so unique and special about the Mass is that Jesus returns Home. Not just a letter from Jesus. Not just a picture of Jesus. Not just a symbol or reminder of Jesus.
Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
In the fullness of His Humanity and the fullness of His Divinity, on the altar.
If our hearts are in love with our savior, and if we've been given the grace to believe this sacred mystery passed down from the beginning of Christianity, then the video clip above can teach us something of what our spiritual reaction to Jesus's coming might be.
Our reactions need not be exactly the same, of course. The point is simply that there is something absolutely unique about being in the presence of the Beloved, whether that beloved is your daddy or the divine Spouse of our souls.
My heart breaks to know that there are so many Christians out there who love the Lord Jesus Christ yet are not present when he comes to visit us in His fullness.
If you are a member of a denomination that believes the Lord's Supper is only a symbol, I invite you to consider the girl's reaction in the video above.
Would she have been equally satisfied had a symbol of her daddy (say, a photo or a statue) appeared?
Somewhere deep in our hearts, we all long to be close to our Beloved. A symbol will never do for us. And it will never do for Jesus either, who loves us infinitely more than we love Him.
In the Holy Eucharist, the savior of the world comes onto the altar. In reality, the altar and all of those who surround it are taken up into heaven to participate in the once-for-all offering of the Lamb of God before the Father. That is why we cry out "we lift our hearts up to the Lord!" We experience a foretaste of eternity when we join in the marriage feast of the Lamb.
And all of this happens during the Mass.
May the little girl's response be for us a kind of spiritual and emotional pedagogy for our own response to these awesome truths--the truths that point us to the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Eucharist, Jesus is home from Heaven.
Let us give thanks!