April 2, 2015

In Christ Alone

Of all the days of the Triduum, Holy Thursday has always been my favorite.  There is an atmosphere about it that is so joyful, and yet so solemn and sacred and sad as well.

I love the great ringing of the bells, the singing of the Gloria for the first time since Lent began.  I love the incense, the ceremony, the beautiful procession of the Eucharist from the Church into the Chapel set aside for Our Lord until Easter Sunday.  I love staying up late in the Chapel in Adoration, keeping watch with Him.

There is sadness in knowing that Christ underwent terrible torture and agony in the garden that night, and that the next day He would suffer more than we can ever imagine and then die for us.  Yet there is also great joy and comfort in knowing that, before He died, He gave us the Eucharist and His true presence so that we could always be close to Him.

The true, complete presence of Christ in the Eucharist has always been something I have accepted as a natural and undeniable fact. I have never needed great theological explanations or proof to make me believe... to me, it has always made sense.  If God loved us enough to die for us, how could He not love us enough to give Himself to us in the Eucharist?  He could create the whole world out of nothing, raise people from the dead, ascend into Heaven, how could He not make Himself entirely present in the host, and in the wine?

I believe it with my whole heart, even if my actions don't always show it.  I know that I do not always have the reverence that I should, that I don't give the time that He deserves, that I don't show the fervor and awe that that the King is worthy of.  And yet He is always there, waiting patiently for me, and when I kneel in Adoration and receive Him in Mass, I can feel His love for me.  There is so much beauty there, so much power and so much love.

There is joy in the celebration of Holy Thursday, in knowing that God loves me, and loves each one of us so much that He made sure to give Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist before Christ died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.  There is sorrow in knowing that I do not deserve any of that love, and that I can never repay it.  There is peace in being reminded that despite my unworthiness, He is offering me His love anyways.

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