Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
1st Reading Exodus 24:3-8
2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Responsorial: Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Spending Time in Jesus’ Presence in Eucharistic Adoration
This is my body. (Mark 14:22)
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pick up the phone and call God and ask him anything you want? Not to ask him to give you gifts, but to ask him for answers to the mysteries of life? Maybe you could ask why there is suffering in the world. Maybe you would ask something silly, like why there are fleas or whether the chicken or the egg came first. Or maybe you would want to know the secret to a peaceful life. Wouldn’t you love to ask God?
Well, you can—but not with a phone call! Today, we celebrate the fact that Jesus has made himself—body, blood, soul, and divinity—available to us in the form of bread and wine. In the Eucharist, he is always with us, “until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). No matter where we go, he is with us: in towering cathedrals or run-down prisons, in ornate golden chalices and in the palms of sinners’ hands.
From the time of the Last Supper until today, Jesus “disdains no dwelling, but consents to come like a guest to any heart, even one that is defiled” (St. Thomas Aquinas). He comes to transform us just as the Host is transformed: not in outward appearance but in our inner lives.
No, you can’t call God on the phone, but you can visit him in person. Just to sit in Jesus’ presence with a quieted heart can do wonders. There, in the still of adoration, he may give you a sense of peace or whisper a new thought, insight, or idea to your heart.
Will you go to him? Even if you can spend only five minutes, it’s worth it. That’s five minutes with your King! So go; he is waiting just for you.
“We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all your churches throughout the world, and we bless you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.)
Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
- The first readings recounts how, through Moses, the Israelites entered into a special covenant with God at Mt. Sinai. We are also presented with Old Testament rituals of the sacrificial blood of animals. The reading ends with these words: “Then he (Moses) took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words of his.’” In what ways do these words pre-figure the Blood of Christ and the New Covenant?
- The Responsorial Psalm begins with this challenging question: “How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?” The psalmist responds to this question by saying: “The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD.” He goes on to say the following: “To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people.” How would you respond to the question posed by the psalmist? What are the some ways you can give a “sacrifice of thanksgiving” to the Lord in your own life? What more can you do to “increase” your offering?
- In the second reading, no longer do we have a covenant though the sacrifice and blood of animals. God’s new covenant with us, a covenant of love and intimacy, has been sealed with the Body and Blood of Christ. How would you describe the differences between the Old and the New Covenant? How would you explain the Father’s great love for us in allowing his Son to suffer and shed his blood on the cross for us? In what ways can we also respond to this great love by laying down our lives more fully for Jesus Christ and for one another?
- In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that his Body and Blood are truly present in the Eucharist. It is the symbol and bond of unity between Christ and his faithful followers who feed on it. How can you further your unity with Christ, and with your fellow Catholics, who also partake of the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharist?
- With these words, the meditation encourages us to spend time with Jesus at Mass or in a Eucharistic Adoration chapel: “Just to sit in Jesus’ presence with a quieted heart can do wonders. There, in the still of adoration, he may give you a sense of peace or whisper a new thought, insight, or idea to your heart. Will you go to him? Even if you can spend only five minutes, it’s worth it. That’s five minutes with your King! So go; he is waiting just for you.” What are some steps you can take to spend more time in Jesus presence at Mass or in Eucharistic Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament?
- What steps can you take to better prepare yourself to receive Christ in the Eucharist at Mass? How does the Eucharist aid you in drawing nearer to Jesus? To the Holy Spirit? To the Father?
- Take some time now to pray and thank the Lord for the great gift of his life and presence in the Eucharist, and for the great gift of salvation through his Cross. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.