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THE REAL PRESENCE The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST

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In Him

Copyright © 1997 James H. Dobbins

In so much of our prayer, including the liturgy, as well as in scripture and the writings of the saints, the little phrase "in Him" is seen repeatedly. We say or read it so often that it has become commonplace, and yet it is a concept filled with opportunity for exploring our relationship with God. We cannot think about what it means to be in Him without thinking about who this 'Him' is of whom we speak, and contemplate the many dimensions of the concept of being in Him. We know it is Jesus of whom we speak, but who is this Jesus? Who is He for you, personally?

In beginning the exploration of our relationship to Jesus with respect to being in Him, we will take for granted the fundamental things said about Jesus in the creed and what is taught us in scripture about the foundation of the Church. We will assume Jesus is the Son of God, that He is the Incarnate Word, true man and true God, that He came down from Heaven, that He was born, suffered and died that our sins may be forgiven; that He rose again, ascended into Heaven, and will come again as our Judge; that He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, that He founded His Church upon Peter, that He gave Peter the keys to the kingdom, including the power to forgive sin; that He instituted the sacraments, including Holy Eucharist, and that He sent the Holy Spirit to guide the Church for all time.

Our Collective Participation

In exploring the mystery of Jesus, especially the concept of being in Him, we will go a little deeper into this very special relationship each of us has with Jesus, collectively as members of His Mystical Body and individually in our personal relationship with Him. In doing so, we must recognize the marvelous way in which God established the relationships between Himself and mankind. It is a relationship of distinction amidst uniformity. God is uniform; the world is filled with differentiations. All elements of creation are stamped with the mark of singularity. God is simplicity itself, the ultimate in unity; creatures of the world are identified in their distinctiveness. It is only in our individual isolation that we can be identified, and yet God calls us to a unity with Him in His universality. It is through unified diversity that man is fulfilled; Male and female; creature and Creator; finite man and infinite Divinity. We discover things because of their individuality, their uniqueness in creation. We discover the infinite and immutable God in part through the diversity, finiteness and mutability of His creation. Eventually, we come to discover the characteristics of the individual relationships we each have with God, for we come to see in these relationships the constancy of God's love toward us and the mutability of our response to Him. We also find a certain uniformity, and universality, in the Church and a mutability in our individual responses to His Church. Finally, in seeing our own finite, limited uniqueness in relation to the infinite wonder and mystery that is God, we see how far from Him we are. We begin to appreciate how much a gift He really has made to us of Himself, for in seeing the difference between ourselves and God - to the extent we can - we likewise see how impossible it is to approach Him and love Him and do anything of worth to or for Him unless He participates in that act with us; allowing it, encouraging it, welcoming it.

Let us first consider the collective relationship before exploring the individual relationship. St. Paul has provided us with the most explicit description of the Mystical Body of Christ. We can see his exposition of the concept in the following passages:

Romans 12:3-8. ... so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. ...

1 Cor 6:15. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

1 Cor 12: 12-31. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. ... Now the body is not a single part, but many. ... But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the Body as He intended. ...But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. Now you are Christ's Body, and individually parts of it. ... Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

Gal 1:22-23. And He put all things beneath His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

Eph 3:4-6. When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

We can see from these passages that Jesus Christ has given us the means for fulfillment of the promise expressed in the prologue to the gospel of John, "But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave the power to become children of God." (Jn 1:12). This promise, and the Mystical Body, are intimately united. One is fulfilled by the other. It is through the Mystical Body that we become one with Him, that He shares with us His divine nature. It is also by becoming one with Him that we become members of the Mystical Body. It is in sharing in His divine nature by participation, by reason of His gift and not as a matter of right, that we are able to be children of God. This participative transformation, this divinizing of the human soul by God, is not something that causes a substantial conversion, not something that changes the substance of the soul to the substance of God, for that would be a form of pantheism. It would also destroy that which makes each of us who we are, and we know God does not do this. For man to participate in the Divine life of God through the operation of the Holy Spirit in our soul means that God brings us to a state where we live the life of God because, through the action of the Holy Spirit, whatever we do, we do as an act of love. All of our acts are done by the Holy Spirit acting through us as we cooperate with His movements of Divine Love within us. We are unified with God to the extent that we act as one with Him, participating in what He does with and through us. Since love is an act of the will, our will and the will of God become united to the extent that each act of our love becomes God's love acting through us; it becomes an act of incarnated love. In this state of union with God, we have given, we have consecrated, ourselves completely to God, and God accepts this gift and works in us so that we desire for ourselves only that which He desires for us. He becomes the center of our existence. But we must not think that by this we become some sort of automaton, for that would not be an act of love on the part of God and would be contrary to the first commandment of love Jesus gave us. Rather, He shares Himself with us and brings us to do what we do as a cooperative act with Him, sharing Himself as fully as He can in a small reflection of the sharing cooperative relationship which exists between the Persons of the Trinity. In his commentary on the Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 30, paragraph 6, St. John of the Cross uses the imagery of weaving a garland of flowers. God does not simply weave the garlands alone, nor does He expect the soul to do so, but rather they will weave the garlands together. It is a cooperative act of love to produce a thing of beauty.

Recognizing this, we can also see that to be a child of God we must somehow share, participate at least in part, in the nature of God. If we are members of His Body, we must all share a common nature. Christ is unique, and the Body of Christ is likewise unique. The Head of the Body cannot have a nature completely different from that of the members of that same Body. Even though of a different function, and limited in power and ability, the members of the Mystical Body must share in some way the same nature as the Head. Your arm has a very different function, configuration and outward appearance from your head, yet both are human in nature, both share a common bond as part of your body. And so it is with the Mystical Body of Christ. It is through Him and His gift to us that we share and participate in the life of God, and it is through Him and our participation in His Mystical Body that we are able to be children of God.

A child must share a common nature with its parents. An adopted child must also share that common nature with the adoptive parents, even if very different from them. A child who is very different from his or her adoptive parents, perhaps in terms of race, ethnicity, genetics, and many other characteristics, is still able to be adopted because that child shares that essential, inherent, common characteristic of human-ness. This is possible because there are so many different humans on earth. But there is only one God, and only one Divine nature. Thus, if we are to be children of God we must, all of us, participate somehow and to some essential degree in His Divine Life. Any differences there might be in the degree and depth of that participative sharing is a determinant, not of race or ethnicity or genetics, but of the depth to which we possess sanctifying grace. The more sanctifying grace in which our soul is immersed at the time of our bodily death, the greater the degree in which we participate in the life of God. Therefore, our first look at being "in Him" should be a collective look at our participation in the whole of the Mystical Body, but it is also an understanding of this fact of participation being His gift. It is not something to which we have a right, as did Jesus because of His Divine nature, but is instead His gift, a gift of His love for us.

It is also a privilege. Like many gifts and privileges, it can be lost, and the way we lose this gift and privilege is by removing from our soul the garment of sanctifying grace and replacing it with the darkness of mortal sin. Just as we could not give ourselves the gift of being "in Him", we likewise cannot remove from ourselves the putrid stain of mortal sin. God must do this for us, and He does so through the means He left us in the gift He gave to Peter. Through the gift given to the apostles and handed down to our priests through the ages by apostolic succession, our sins are forgiven when we approach the sacrament of Penance and make a good confession. Through this sacrament, God restores us to a state of sanctifying grace by the action of His priest standing in His Person, in persona Christi, and thus restores to our soul a measure of the gift we had discarded.

As members of the Mystical Body we are also connected to each other through Christ, our Head. As such, we pray for each other and with each other. It is often the prayers of some members of this Mystical Body which act as the agent of transmission of God's grace to other members in need to bolster them against temptation or to call them to confession if they have fallen. Thus, when we come together to celebrate the liturgy, we should remember that we are there as members of a common Body, each sharing that special gift of being in Him, each sharing in His nature and made one with Him through the operation of His grace in us. Therefore we should offer up to God our own prayers and also the prayers of all those worshiping with us, at every Mass at which we participate and also those prayers being offered at all the other Masses being celebrated throughout the world.

In doing so we have the confident knowledge of Christ's presence among us in a special way through fulfillment of His promise to be wherever two or more are gathered in His name. At each liturgy, in a way more real than many of us seem to realize, we are present to Him, and to each other, because of our participation in His Mystical Body. We are living what the priest says after the consecration as he elevates the chalice and paten together just prior to the Great Amen: through Him, with Him, and in Him.

Our Individual Participation

In addition to the collective participation we enjoy in Him through the Mystical Body, we each have a unique individual relationship with Jesus. We can begin our examination of the many dimensions of being individually in Him, an examination we can never exhaust, by focusing on what He told us. Some of the ways in which we live in Him are indicated by the several different things Jesus told us about Himself and what He is for us. Jesus described Himself in many ways, some in terms of mission and some in terms of essence. He spoke of being a leader, showing us the way to God our Father. He also spoke of being the embodiment of those things so essential to a life of love, such as being Truth. He also spoke of Himself as being the source of our eternal life, and the source of our enlightenment.

In each of the ways in which He describes Himself, He is also describing us and our unique relationship with Him. In each He is describing, in one way or another, how we must be united to Him and live in Him. St. John the evangelist, in describing how he came to receive the visions which he recorded as the Book of Revelation says, at Rev 1:10, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard ...". One message comes through consistently in all these lessons on life in Him - the need for us to be inseparably united with Him and the essential role of real love in this relationship. This life of Divine Love is intense, and both self-giving and demanding. It is a love through which all is given, but which does not tolerate lukewarmness (Rev 3:16). It is a way of life and love in which words like 'almost' or 'sort of' or 'perhaps' do not apply. One does not 'perhaps' love the God who died for you, and would do so again if it were necessary.

Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Jn 14:6

Jesus identifies Himself as the Way - not one of many ways, but the Way. He is the only way to our heavenly Father. He emphasized this several times, such as describing Himself as the gate of the sheep (Jn 10:1-18) through which we must all pass to come to the eternal kingdom. We follow Him as our Good Shepherd, and we have our life in Him as our vessel of redemption. Nearly everything He did during His time of public ministry was done to teach us what and how we should live. We follow His example, regardless of our station in life or age or gender or ethnicity. He is our example, our teacher, our Truth, our hope. We place all our trust in Him, believing that He can do all things, and knowing that without Him we can do nothing.

"Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither." Jn 15:4-6

In this passage from the gospel of John, Jesus teaches that we cannot do anything without Him. He also tells us how intimately united He wants us to be with Him so that we can share in His eternal life. He has already said He is our Life, the source of that eternal life to which we are all destined. Unless we exist in Him, we cannot live and we cannot experience that to which He called us from all eternity. Unless we live in Him, we wither and die, even if it appears to the world that we are alive. It is not life in the world to which we are called, but life in Him. Whatever degree of eternal life we have in us is there because of Him, because He is our Life. He does not just give us our life; He is our Life. Without Him we have no Life. We cannot live independently from Him. The only way we can have this life is to abide in Him, and He in us, for if we do not we will die, and will "be thrown out like a branch and wither". Without Him, we are spiritually dead because we have separated ourselves from Him. Just as the branch will die when it is separated from the source of the sap it needs to live, so, too, our soul will die when we separate ourselves from the spiritual sap it needs to share in the life of God. That spiritual sap, that source of spiritual life which flows continuously, is the love of God. St. John of the Cross tells us, "In that sweet drink of God, in which the soul is imbibed in Him, she most willingly and with intense delight surrenders herself wholly to Him, in the desire to be totally His and never to possess in herself anything other than Him."(commentary on Spiritual Canticle, verse 27, par 6). He is there, always available, always willing to let His Love flow into our souls and enliven us, but we must be able to receive this Love, we must be in union with Him. It is in the process of surrendering all to God that He brings us to that state of Divine participation.

But Jesus does not stop there. He also tells us to live so intimately united in Him that we abide in Him and He in us. He calls us to an intimate spiritual union with Him, in Him, a union so deep that our live becomes one with His, inseparable from Him. He calls us to share in His life. He does all this for one reason - Love. He loves us infinitely, each of us. Because of His love and our union with Him, we are united with Him so intimately that anything we do that has any spiritual value at all, we do through Him and with Him. He is the source of all our goodness. Consider the two extremes He describes in this passage from John. We have either intimate union with Him, in Him, or complete separation from Him; a separation which is eternal death. There is no in between. We are immersed in God or we are cast out. We love Him or we do not. Once we understand this we begin to fathom what Jesus told us when He said that He will vomit out of His mouth those who are lukewarm (Rev 3:16). He wants us to thirst for Him, and He wants to quench that thirst with Himself. St. John of the Cross teaches us in his commentary on the Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Book 1, Chapter 4, Section 3, that when love is given to another, the more one loves that other the closer becomes the likeness to that other and the greater the equality between them, "for love effects a likeness between the lover and the loved". Thus, we perhaps understand a little better than before the two commandments of Love given to us by Jesus. We must love God completely, with our whole mind, heart and soul; and we must love others as ourselves. When we love God this completely, we take on His likeness. Then, when we love our spouse, for example, we must love them as we love ourselves, and, hopefully, we love ourselves because of the deep love we have for God Who dwells within and Who loves us infinitely and in Whose Life we share. By loving our spouse this way, we may lead them to a similar shared love of God if they are not already at this state of participative Love, for loving God so deeply is the fondest wish we could have for them.

Consider also the consequences of that intimate union to which Jesus is calling us in John 15. He is not only telling us that we cannot have Life without being spiritually united in Him, but that we cannot produce any spiritual good without this union. It is through union with Him that we have Life, and it is because of this Life within us that we are able to produce spiritual good. The good we do is therefore not something for which we can take personal credit or which should be a source of pride, but rather it is the result of God acting within us. All that we have, all that we do, comes from Him and is because of Him. When we offer up to God that which we have and that which we do, consecrating it to Him, we are offering up to Him that good which He has given us and has done in us. The more we cooperate with His grace, the more we grow in sanctifying grace, then the more we can do and therefore offer back to Him. The more we are able to offer Him the more we glorify Him. The lives of the saints attest to the fact that our task on earth is to give glory to God, not to glorify ourselves. This is the essence of consecration; our lives being made holy by offering them to God so He may do His will in us and with us. It is when we lose this sense of purpose, this sense of balance, that we enter the danger zone, for then we begin to focus on self and not God. St. John of the Cross provides still another view of living in the Life of God when he says, "The Blessed Trinity inhabits the soul by divinely illuminating its intellect with the wisdom of the Son, delighting its will in the Holy Spirit, and absorbing it powerfully and mightily in the unfathomed embrace of the Father's sweetness."(Commentary on Living Flame of Love, Stanza 1, par 15).

In addition to teaching us about the relationship between love, life, and the need to follow in His path, He also taught us that it is He, and He alone, who is the source of our enlightenment. He established Himself as our Light while on earth. He continues this role through the Church as it is guided by the Holy Spirit who will lead us, inspire us, and remind us of all Jesus has taught us. We are a people, like no other in human history, who are taught by God.

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Jn 8:12

Jesus established Himself as the Way, as the only path to God. He is now also establishing Himself as the Light to lead us on that path. Many times He equates sin and darkness. Those who live in sin live in spiritual darkness. They are not enlightened, inspired and led by God, but, rather, by the prince of darkness. Some of those who walk in darkness may be our neighbors down the street, some may be leaders of major nations of the world and some may be those who influence us through music and other forms of entertainment. The effect these spiritually dark souls have on others, led as they are by the prince of this world, is to pull souls into the traps of sin by displaying what is evil in such a way as to make it appear good. These enticements appeal to our vanity, to our desire for pleasure, and to our desire for self-satisfaction and self-gratification. They never lead us toward God or toward real love. Self-sacrifice is seen as absurd in the face of self-satisfaction; desire for the unseen rewards of Heaven as absurd in the face of the present material rewards of this world; doing the will of God as absurd in the face of doing what we desire; offering suffering to God as absurd in the face of the kevorkian culture and protecting life in the womb as absurd in the face of satisfying personal convenience. Enlightenment is necessary, and God is the only legitimate source of that enlightenment. Enlightenment is essential, but it is something with which we must cooperate. Because of the gift of free will, God will not force enlightenment upon us. We must make ourselves open to enlightenment. He has made Himself available for our enlightenment for thousands of years, but we have no guarantee He will always do so.

"We have to do the works of the one who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Jn 9:4-5

If we are to do good works, we can only do them through and with Jesus. Without Him we can do nothing. God's work is to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; and they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:15-18). God's work is also to administer the sacraments, especially Reconciliation and the Eucharist. He is the Light, and we are the enlightened. It is through Him that we can understand what the works of God are and have the strength and will to do them. If we are to work, we must work in the light. As long as Jesus is with us, we have the Way, we have Truth, and we have the Light by which to do the work of God. If He is not among us, if we are not united to Him and in Him, we do not have light, but only darkness. Those who walk in darkness cannot do the work of God, but instead do the work of the prince of darkness. But Jesus tells us that the night is coming when no one can work. It is not just the followers of satan who will be unable to do God's work, but no one will be able to do God's work. "Night is coming when no one can work." Does this mean good work will cease and mankind will have a completely new relationship with God? We have examples of this happening three times before in the history of man's relationship with God - during the time of Adam, the time of Noah and in the city of Sodom. What His warning may mean for us we do not know. One implication is that when this happens we will have exhausted the time of God's mercy and will have crossed the threshold into the time of God's justice. Indeed, in several countries this foretold time is already here, for it is a criminal offense to do the work of God. How long it will be before the whole world is completely closed to the work of God we do not know; but when night comes and no one can work, it will be the time for those who have remained true and enlightened, and who still love Him, to call upon every reserve of love and trust they have and place themselves completely at His disposal. Placing all their trust in Him, they will say, with Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Jesus said to them, "The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light." Jn 12:35-36

"I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in Me might not remain in darkness." Jn 12:46

Jesus continues to exhort us to become children of God, children of Light. We cannot be children of Light if we do not abide in Him and He in us. It is His light within us that makes us children of Light. It is His light that others perceive in us. We can never underestimate the importance of being a child of Light, for as children of Light we serve God as little beacons. When the time comes that the whole world is in such darkness that we are unable to do God's work, it is only by serving God as a little beacon that others may be saved. Those who respond to the grace of God will be given the enlightenment to see the Light shining in us, and the courage to come to us when we cannot go to them. They will seek, and see, the Light of the Shepherd within those who are not able to go forth themselves to gather the sheep. The sheep will recognize the Light of the Shepherd shining within His children, and will follow them to the door of the sheepfold so they, too, may follow the Good Shepherd into safety (John 10:1-18).

Those who are slaves of sin are those who ceaselessly demand to be the masters of their own destiny. They exercise their freedom of choice in favor of self in all things, and at all cost, in preference to accepting the will of God. It has been thus since the time of Lucifer, since the time of Adam and Eve. It is only by becoming a child of God that one realizes the greatest freedom we can have is to do the will of God. This notion is completely contrary to the wisdom of the world. It is a notion founded in the eternal wisdom of God who always knows what is best for each of us. Jesus spoke much about love, but He also spoke much about truth. Truth and trust and love are inseparable. Jesus, who is Love, referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. Just as trust in God and His will for us is a source of freedom, so is His truth and His love. Their functions are intertwined.

"The one who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him." Jn 8:29

"Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in Him, "If you remain in My word, you will truly be My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Jn 8:31-32.

Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free." Jn 8:34-35

We please God by doing His will, for that is an exemplification of our trust in Him and our love for Him. Jesus prayed to His Father saying, "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth."(John 17:17-19). Jesus knew He would leave the apostles when He ascended, and knew they would go into the world to do God's work as He would ask. Thus, in a beautiful economy of words, Jesus taught the apostles that just as the Father sent Him into the world and remained with Him always, never leaving Him alone, He would also send the apostles into the world and would remain with them always. There was just one condition - to do the will of God, to "do what is pleasing to Him". Jesus then taught the people the importance of believing in Him, for He is truth and the truth will set them free. They will be free of the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, free from the slavery to sin, free from that which separates them from God, free to become children of God. This freedom opens the door to remain with Him, to remain in Him. It is by being in Him that the soul finds the freedom it seeks on the wings of truth, trust and love of God. The freedom He offers by living in Him is a true and everlasting freedom, not the false freedom of those who seek only to determine their own destiny. The only freedom those poor souls find is the freedom to enter the gates of Hell.

In God's overall plan, we must have food to survive. Without food we face only death. Since God made us both spirit and flesh, originally created in His own image and likeness, He provided us with physical food for our body and spiritual food for our soul. Over time, God provided us with the spiritual food we need, matching the spiritual food we receive to our present need and reflective of our developing relationship with Him. He gave us prayer, and manna in the desert, and many other forms of spiritual nourishment. But in teaching us how dependent we are on Him and how deeply He wants us to abide in Him so that we can share fully in His perfect commandment of Love, Jesus provided us with the most perfect spiritual food; Himself.

I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven; if anyone eats this Bread he will live forever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh. Jn 6:51.

For My flesh is true food, and My Blood is true drink. Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood remains in Me and I in him. Jn 6:55-56

As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me. Jn 6:57

In giving us Himself, His living Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, He opened up a whole new dimension of understanding of the depth of intimacy to which He calls us to share in Him. He comes to be with us, to be in us, not just spiritually but also physically. He is Himself our most perfect and most important food, for without this food we cannot live the eternal unity to which He calls us. We cannot live in Him as He desires if He does not live in us. When He told us we must abide in Him and He in us, He was speaking of all dimensions. In receiving Him, we also abide in Him, for His love and His union with us is mutual. It is His gift to us. It is not something we can effect on our own. It is the sacrament of His Love, given because of His love for us and in response to our love for Him. He does not want to merely walk along side us, but to be in true union with us, to make us one with Him. He wants to be the bridegroom of our soul, and it is in the Holy Eucharist that this Divine intimacy is consummated. It is the fulfillment of the ages in the relationship between God and man. It is the spiritual, and very real, parallel to that unity to which He calls husband and wife, priest or professed religious and Church. It is a dimension of sharing in Him that is universal by virtue of His Catholic Church, and individual by virtue of the individual reception of the Eucharist which we each receive in our individual conditions of grace. It is reflective of the unique and individual relationship to which we are all called with Him. He can make Himself present to us, and in us, and us in Him, in no more perfect way than through the Holy Eucharist.

Jesus goes still farther in teaching us the need to abide in Him. We must come to understand that it is only in Him that we can find life, and find it abundantly, and only in Him that we can find eternal Life, for in Him we have our Resurrection. To live we must live in Him and to be resurrected we must share in His Resurrection.

"A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." Jn 10:10

Jesus said to her, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." Jn 11:25-26.

Jesus does not only teach us that we will be resurrected, but that we are resurrected in Him. He did not just resurrect on that first Easter; He is the Resurrection. Our Resurrection is not a process. It is a state of being, a state of eternally being in Him. He wants us to abide in Him, and He in us, now, but that is only a preview of the extent of the glorious existence we shall have in Him as our Resurrection, for we shall participate as fully as possible in His life of Love, and that is the natural destiny of our souls. We, His little prodigal children, will be welcomed into His embrace, and His life, and will be brought into Him in ways we can not even imagine; in ways that the mind of man is unable to conceive.

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