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Reflection for January 24,2021

Scripture: Matthew 26:26-30

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father." Then after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Laudato Si #233

The universe unfolds in God, who fill it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person's face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. St. Bonaventure teaches us that "contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God's grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves."


God's presence is not limited to the eucharist. Pope Francis says that God fills the universe completely. God's real presence is everywhere in and everyone even though it is uniquely present in the bread and wine of the eucharist. When I worked as a parish nurse at Resurrection Parish in Jersey City, NJ I shared a first floor suite of offices with another sister who was the DRE. Because of the fact that her office was close to the front door, she almost always responded to the doorbell. It was constantly busy and she would have to respond to requests for food from the pantry, money for transportation and medicine, holy water and of course to the perpetual question: "Is Father here?" From my office at the back of the building I could hear the conversation, but not see who it was. After the person left I would say to her: "Mary, who was that?" Her response was always the same: "Jesus in one of his least recognizable forms!!"

Prayer: May God open our hearts and minds to see his presence in all creation.

Action: Try talking to someone with whom you disagree and look for the presence of God in that person.

Providing a contemplative compassionate presence to all, especially the most needy.