Posted by: dowsmallgroups | 30/05/2013

Living in His Presence

Jordaens EucharistSt. Luke recounted Christ’s prophetic teaching – that humankind would be confronted by natural disasters and politically driven turmoil of such magnitude as to cause both mass destruction and great human loss. Yet, we are counselled not to be afraid – for Christ will always be with us.

While the Liturgy of the Word offers us direction as to how we are to live our daily lives in imitation of Christ, we are strengthened for our life’s journey through the gift of his body in Holy Communion. Although once the eucharistic celebration ends, we are not left to our own devices. The consecrated bread known as ‘the Blessed Sacrament’ is not placed in the tabernacle towards the end of Mass simply for convenient storage. On the contrary, Christ is with us at all times and we have what might best be described as ‘a standing invitation’ from Christ to spend some time with him during the course of our week. Somewhere in the darkened church, a red candle will be burning to indicate his Real Presence.

By extending his hospitality, Christ is offering each of us much more than a listening ear for our prayers and petitions. We are being invited to deepen our personal relationship with him. While the idea of silent dialogue with our transcendent God may initially seem rather unnatural, when we think of other close relationships, non-verbal communication is often the norm. People generally cherish the quiet moments spent with loved ones when unspoken thoughts are frequently exchanged and great comfort felt simply by another’s presence. Even very young children quickly grow to understand the meaning conveyed solely by a look on their parent’s face.

Undoubtedly, it takes time to develop a level of comfort and familiarity that enables one to connect at this level but Christ is waiting for each of us and hoping that we will want to get to know him better. By spending quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament, gazing at the tabernacle or monstrance, we can begin to feel Christ’s intimate presence within our being; to sense our connection with the Mystery of his Passion, Death and Resurrection. In these moments we come to recognise his mission as a framework for our day-to-day living. Rather than readily accepting society’s current tendency to focus on noise and busyness as well as the focus on individual and personal choices, our perspective may become more contemplative; a matter of ‘we’ as we come to understand that Christ with whom we were joined at baptism is with us always.

Amidst the demands of everyday life, the invitation to spend some quiet time with Christ – before the Blessed Sacrament – can easily be overlooked. But if we think of the trouble he has gone to on our behalf, how can we ignore it?

What time can I give to prayer with Jesus before the Blessed Sacrament? How can this practice fit more readily into my weekly prayer routine?

To use this as a small group session, you can download a fully edited version by clicking on the link here: Living in His Presence

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