My preferred image of Jesus Christ is his real presence in the Eucharist.
Let me explain, I am a cradle Catholic, I was born and raised in a Catholic culture to a very devoted Catholic family and I attended Catholic School all of my life. I had always heard of Jesus ever since I can remember, I was catechized, I went to Mass every Sunday and we prayed the family rosary several night a week. During my late teens and early twenties I drifted away from the Church and embraced secular humanism.
I joined the L.A. Sheriff’s Department at the age of twenty-one and immediately I was in contact with evil, temptation, violent confrontations, life threatening situations and other job related stresses that plague a rookie policeman. I saw that alot of policeman turn to wine and women as a way of coping. I learned that policemen have a higher rate of suicide and divorce as compared to other occupations.
In my mid-twenties after a long stressful shift at work I came home and I reasoned that if I am going to last in this line of work I am going to have to rely on God through a deep life of prayer. So instead of turning to ‘booze’ or ‘broads’ I turned to the ‘bible.’ Even though I had been a life long Catholic I never opened up the bible for myself.
I began reading the bible every single night for about two hours when I got home from swing shift, primarily focusing on the Gospels. I was curious to know more about Jesus since I had always heard as a child that he was coming back for us.
I literally soaked in the Gospels night after night and it was then that occurred the happening which is dominant in my life. Suddenly, in an instant, in a fraction of time, the current of my life was altered and I believed. I believed with such force and adherence, with such an uprising of my whole being, with a conviction so powerful, with such certainty leaving no sort of doubt, that since then all the books, all the reasoning, all the hazards of a constantly changing life have not been able to shake my imaginings of partaking in an unspeakable revelation.The person of Jesus Christ came right out of the printed pages and took the dimensions of reality.
The honeymoon continued, I began to see from the scriptures that God not only condescended to become a baby, a carpenter, a criminal on a Cross, but he also condescends to become our food (In Holy Communion). God has not left us orphaned, he said he would be with us always until the end of time.
I discovered from the Scriptures and from the collective conscious of the early Church Fathers that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist; body, blood, soul and divinity. This is the best kept secret in America.
The miracle continues every Sunday at the holy sacrifice of the Mass. God condescends to come down to our altars and become our food. He feeds us with his very self. I see him every Sunday with the eyes of faith, as Saint Thomas says in the Tantum Ergo, “faith will tell us Christ is present, though our human senses fail.”
Jesus scandalized most of his disciples two thousand years ago when he said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you have no life within you, he who eats my body and drinks my blood I will raise him up on the last day.” Tough words, but I exclaim just like Saint Peter, “Lord to whom shall we go you have the words of eternal life; we have come to believe, we are convinced that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
The little innocuous looking white host is my God, here and now in this time space continuum. The Eucharist is the medicine of immortality, the antidote against sin and food for our soul. Because he lives, I believe in his claims and all the arguments of the world against the Eucharist are nonsense, just because he lives.
This is my faith experience, I have shown you my interior castle, “Faith is the confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see” (Heb 11:1).
When Jesus appeared to Thomas he said,”You became a believer because you saw me. Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” Here Jesus calls you ‘blessed’ for your faith in the Eucharist. This is the glory of the faith! I believe in his real presence, not because I see or understand how, but because of my FAITH IN JESUS who,”took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take this and eat it, THIS IS MY BODY!” It is this revelation that has completely revolutionized my faith, after discovering this, I have never been the same.
My faith commitment to Jesus is even deeper because of the Most Holy Eucharist. If are paths don’t cross and if I never see you in this lifetime, I’ll see you at the resurrection!!