Have you ever heard something over and over and yet never truly heard it?
This happened to me on the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, January 3rd. During daily Mass, Father Antonio of St. Patrick Church in Wareham Massachusetts recited what we all have heard thousands of times ” On the night He was betrayed, He took bread into His Hands and said….”
That is all I heard!
Those six words came to me, “On the night He was betrayed!”, and I didn’t hear another word Fr. Antonio said. All I could do was gaze at the cross and imagine Christ in the midst of His apostles. He knew he had been betrayed by one of them and He did not seek revenge. He also knew Peter would betray Him on that very same night, and He did not turn to anger. He knew these same apostles would fall asleep when He needed them the most, and yet He didn’t turn away from them in disgust.
He knew the very men and women who had listened to Him preach, who came to Him to be healed, would turn on Him the very next day, allowing Him to be hung on a cross! He did not walk away from them.
Instead He gave us the gift of everlasting life! He offered up His Body, His Blood so those people and their descendants would have the keys to Heaven. Never before have I truly understood the depth of Love Christ has for us mere humans. Never before did I truly feel the depth of love present on that Holy Thursday night.
Christ was man and He is God. He could have had the best revenge on all who betrayed Him. He could have struck them deaf, blind, and even dead on the spot. He could have raised His Arms to Heaven and destroyed Herod’s palace.
But instead He chose to give us His Body, His Blood so we could have life everlasting.
May we, in 2018, receive the gift of His Body more often, and with the full understanding that we too must refrain from anger, hate, and revenge against those who betray us in word and deed. The Eucharist is ours, it is all we truly need.
Happy New Year! May your door remain open for Our Lord to bless you and your loved ones.