Monday, June 06, 2005

Benedict on the Eucharist

Image hosted by

... God is not the great unknown, whom we can but dimly conceive. We need not fear, as heathen do, that he might be capricious and bloodthirsty or too far away and too great to hear men. He is there, and we always know where we can find him, where he allows himself to be found and is waiting for us. Today this should once more sink into our hearts: God is near. God knows us. God is waiting for us in Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us not leave him waiting in vain! Let us not, through distraction and lethargy, pass by the greatest and most important thing life offers us. We should let ourselves be reminded, by today's reading, of the wonderful mystery kept close within the walls of our churches. Let us not pass it heedlessly by. Let us take time, in the course of the week, in passing, to go in and spend a moment with the Lord who is so near. During the day our churches should not be allowed to be dead houses, standing empty and seemingly useless. Jesus Christ's invitation is always being proffered from them. This sacred proximity to us is always alive in them. It is always calling us and inviting us in. This is what is lovely about Catholic churches, that within them there is, as it were, always worship, because the eucharistic presence of the Lord dwells always within them.

And a second thing: let us never forget that Sunday is the Lord's day. It is not an arbitrary decision of the Church, requiring us to attend Mass on Sunday. This is never a duty laid upon us from without; it is the royal privilege of the Christian to share in paschal fellowship with the Lord, in the Paschal Mystery. The Lord has made the first day of the week his own day, on which he comes to us, on which he spreads the table for us and invites us to share with him. We can see, in the Old Testament passage at which we are looking, that the Israelites saw in the presence of God, not a burden, but the basis of their pride and their joy. And indeed the Sunday fellowship with the Lord is not a burden, but a grace, a gift, which lights up the whole week, and we would be cheating ourselves if we withdrew from it ...

From his book, God Is Near Us. Read the whole homily here.


  1. That's really well done... :contemplates:

    (So, was this done in Latin, German, or Italian?)

    Happy Start Of Summer Weather! :)

  2. He wrote it originally in German, but the book was translated into English for Ignatius Press (click to see)

    Ahem, Betsy, hint hint hint you never got me a present for my birthday and I'm your sister! hint hint hint, only $12.95, hint hint ;)

  3. Lol, wow, rereading your ending, that was my blonde moment of the day (and, hopefully, I'll spend enough time outside this summer that I'll be REALLY blonde again).

    Wow Mags, could you be a little MORE obvious here?? ;)