This reflection is published in the January 2019 issue of Give Us This Day, published by Liturgical Press in Minnesota and is based on the scriptures for today’s Mass.
We Still Proclaim
The Real Presence of Christ Jesus rests in my hands at Mass. Just before offering communion; I humbly list up the Body and Blood of Christ from the altar and verbally point the assembly’s attention to what we will receive and what we all become.
Breathing deeply into these ancient words, I pray again, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…” I voice the assertion that John the Baptist uttered to proclaim repentance and forgiveness. John spent his life pointing in the direction of Jesus, and my heart aches to imitate such a messenger’s life.
I gaze past he sacred bread and wine, knowing what love the Father has bestowed on those before me, all of us children of God. I am no aware of the very hunger or pain before my eyes, but I see the widower watched his wife waste away from cancer. I know the father who longs to communicate with a daughter lost to the effects of alcoholism. I stand at the altar knowing that God is willing again to satisfy the most complicated hungers and restore the most disparate hearts, including my own.
We proclaim the Most Holy Name of Jesus in every Eucharist. We still echo John’s testimony that in and through us, God is creating hope for all people on earth. I this Christmas season, our bodies partake in the Incarnation celebrated in the Eucharist, where God forgives the sins of the world.
Fr. Ronald Raab
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, is pastor of the Tri-Community Catholic Parish in Colorado Springs. He formerly served as associate pastor at Saint Andre Bessette Church in Old Town, Portland, OR. Lean more at w.w.w. ronaldraab.com