I am coming to redeem you, says The Lord
Tomorrow marks the beginning of a New Beginning – the rest of our lives in a world that cries out for a new understanding of ‘Redemption’ and how that should affect the way in which we regard our fellow human beings in God‘s wonderful world.
As we look forward to yet another reminder of the INCARNATION of God in human flesh, we also are bound to look forward to the time when the flesh is no longer a matter of our primary preoccupation.
We are reminded in the Eucharistic Liturgy, that God shared our humanity (in Christ) so that we could share in God’s divinity. At the Eucharist, when water is poured into the wine, the priest says a few words that encourage us to understand what is actually going on:
“By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity”.
I long for the priest to say this out loud, so that all the people can shout “AMEN!” That would mean that each and every one of us, gathered around the Table of The Lord, recognized His Presence among us, in the Elements of the Eucharist, thus sharing in a real Holy Communion.
As I grow older, the great privilege of presiding at the Eucharist becomes every day more precious. Not that my part as a priest is any more blessed than that of anyone else there, but the opportunity to encourage the Faithful in recognizing ‘Christ in the midst’ is something for which I give thanks to God on a daily basis.
As a catholic Anglican, I believe that the more opportunities we have to enter in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the more aware we become of his indwelling in every aspect of our lives. There is nothing too mundane, nothing too secular into which the Lord cannot enter with us as we travel along life’s journey. Sometimes we marvel at the little ways in which God makes God’s-self present to us:
The other morning, while quietly celebrating a Commemoration of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a mediaeval Franciscan Tertiary, the server drew my attention to the presence of a bird in the sanctuary of the church. Reflecting that this was quite good and proper as we were remembering the life of a Franciscan, I carried on with the service.
After the ‘fraction’ of the Host, I was led to repeat some words of Scripture, reflecting the occasion: “Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young – even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God” – at that very moment, the sparrow landed on the missal stand on the altar!
A sign of God’s presence? For me, yes!