Ordinary time Year B, Jn 6, 41-51
Jane Tyson Clement wrote the poem, Vigil, about coming face to face with Jesus.
What would I do, O Master, if you came slowly out of the woods. Would I know your step? Would I know by my beating heart? Would I know by your eyes? Would I feel on my shoulder too, the burden you carry? Would I rise and stand still till you drew near or cover my eyes in shame? Or would I simply forget everything except that you had come and were here?
What would you do if you came face to face with Jesus? Ponder this question often!
Although not quite face to face, we encounter Jesus every time we come to the Eucharist just not quite in the same way as we might hope. Maybe we come carrying burdens and fail to see the eyes. We are aware of our shame and our failings and simply cannot forget everything that we bring to the eucharist. Nevertheless, the encounter is real just as the host and the wine is real. It is the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus is truly present as if he were standing before you. The priest says very clearly “The Body and Blood of Christ!” Then reaches out and places Christ in your hand. Christ reaches out to you and you reach out to Christ who gives himself totally to you. And we say: AMEN – YES – THANK YOU! This encounter opens us to the Presence of God all around us as the following poem by Victor P. Gendrano describes:
I see in every leaf movement as playful breeze passes by barely disturbing a nesting bird the presence of God. The mantle of teeming wildflowers adorning the once barren plain. In the changing of the seasons I feel the ever presence of God. The ceaseless gurgling of the brook as it meanders down its way, cacophony of myriad nature's sounds announce the presence of God. Laughter of innocent children playing in parks or backyard. Enjoying their uncomplicated simple world in the watchful presence of God. Amidst life's tears and turmoil many mishaps and miscalculations, I sought solace and found comfort in the loving presence of God. In the hectic humdrum of daily living, fast-paced rat race for material gain, insatiable yearning for more, make no room for the presence of God. All the world's problems and woes are man-made, yet unacknowledged: religious wars hate crimes, ethnic cleansing, violence conveniently ignoring the presence of God. If I am cognizant of God's love and serve Him through those around me,
then, when my time comes, I will bask in the glory and presence of God. For in the presence of God, there is no hate only familial love, peace, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, helping hand for no evil can withstand the presence of God!
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a