Over the next four weeks we shall be contemplating the meaning of the Blessed Sacrament. The journey begins with a child’s simple and honest question, as recounted by a Daughter of Divine Zeal, and ends with a prayer.
These were the words that flowed from the mouth of a 13-year-old boy at the onset of our sharing at our Grand Supplica. His most sincere query was felt by the entire group to which I belonged. There was a hunger in his tone of asking – a hunger I suppose only God can fill. Why? Firstly, because of its mystical dimension – that is to say it is mysterious. Secondly, because the Blessed Sacrament is not only the “host” put inside the gold-plated metal called the ciborium we see inside the tabernacle at the heart of a Church with a flickering light on it or exposed in a monstrance during adoration time, but it bespeaks of SOMEONE dwelling in it. Our eyes of faith can lead us to see beyond the material and external grandeur of that which is called the Holy Tabernacle. “In it dwells the fullness of His divinity.” It is God Himself. I could say to that boy that the Blessed Sacrament is the consecrated host kept in the Holy Tabernacle found in churches but to convince him to believe in God’s presence in it – insofar as it really is the Body and Blood of Christ – is his to say, proclaim and live.
On 01 July 2012, we commemorated the 125th anniversary of the first coming of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at the Avignone Quarters in Italy and His permanent dwelling thereafter. To have Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament enthroned in a specific place in those times was a great blessing – a holy privilege. This is not so in this era of ours. It’s not so difficult to obtain permission to have it especially in religious houses where its sacredness is safeguarded.
I sighed after knowing that there are still many young people who possess no knowledge about this spiritual richness. Notwithstanding the many endeavours that the Church has initiated through evangelization and catechesis administered in both public and private schools worldwide, this realm escapes the mind of the young, even as they declare themselves Roman Catholics. In an era where communication is as quick as lightning, why can we not spread this fact, this truth? The mass media could do so much only if we knew how to maximize its usefulness. As one of the evangelizers of today, can I say “I am a failure”? I think I don’t need to blame myself nor anyone for this. “God’s ways are not our ways.” His pedagogy goes beyond time in drawing people close to Him and in bringing them to such awareness that they can do no other than acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour of their very self. Is it not that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament nourishes us and brings into fulfillment our hopes and desires of becoming the person we really are? May our young people then be conscious that it is not the affluence of material things that suffices the longing and hunger of the soul, but only the affluence of spiritual things.
Sr M Alma Dazo fdz