If we really believe the Eucharist is truly Christ—not just a symbol, but His actual flesh and blood under the guise of bread—why do we not find every Catholic facedown before the tabernacle in the churches throughout the world?
It’s a sobering question, one I have long been grappling with.
Indeed, Christ in the Eucharist is not loved as He should be. So often, we receive the Eucharist at Mass without first centering our heart and mind on Him, then return to our pew already thinking about what to make for brunch. We escape the church as soon as the last song ends and proceed with our day as if we did not just literally accept Love Himself into our bodies. Do we walk away from marital union with such indifference? I know my husband and I do not—and yet how much more profound is reception of Christ’s very body into our own? We should be falling to our knees in awe of the power we now possess: an endless wellspring of Love. At the very least, we should pause and ponder what a mysterious, incredible gift it is to be one with Christ on this earth, even before Heaven.
But today it struck me: Christ chooses to come to us as bread, ordinary bread. If He really wanted to astound us and flatten us on our faces before Him, never to leave the church, He would appear to us in imperial majesty, radiating purest light, piercing us with His omniscient gaze. How else could one respond to such a manifestation?
Yet He chooses bread. Bread is nourishment, sustaining those who consume it. He desires to remain in us—that we may go out as living tabernacles to incarnate Him in our lives. In this way, others too may perceive and receive Love. We do not leave Him behind in the church, for we are the Church.
The appearance He chooses is not striking or alluring, is difficult to believe in, and is easy to overlook and take for granted—but totally approachable and practical. We are free to worship Him facedown, as His hidden majesty deserves, but ultimately He desires that we get up and be His face to the world.
So the next time someone asks you why—if you really believe it is Him—you are not in the nearest church worshiping the Eucharist 24/7, you may respond, “So that He could be here with you.”
Beautifully explained. God bless you and your family.
Wow! I’ve been wrestling with this lately as well. Such a beautiful reflection Denise, thank you. xx