I was sitting in the dark chapel, candles illuminating the altar and music playing gently in the background. The attending deacon, dressed in his white vestment, walked in front of me and gently took the monstrance out of the tabernacle. I knelt as he turned and made his way towards the altar and reverently placed the golden vessel in the center for everyone to see. I continued kneeling, staring at the host. I hoped to have the strength to kneel for several minutes but my knees and hips were aching. Instead of going back to my seat, I decided I wanted to be like Mary, the sister of Lazarus. I wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus. So I pulled my legs out from under me and switched to a cross-legged position, holding my rosary and staring at the body of Christ.
As I was sitting there, I pondered the mystery of Jesus being present in the Eucharist. I tried to make myself “feel” Jesus’ presence, but nothing was happening. Frustrated, I asked Jesus why He only showed himself to some people. Like the miraculous story of Jesus appearing to Saul on the road to Damascus. Or when He appeared to Sister Faustina Kowalska so that she could paint the picture of the Divine Mercy – the familiar image of Jesus standing with His right hand raised and His left hand over his heart, rays of red and white coming from His chest. Or in the story of St. Christopher where he is known to have carried a child across a dangerous river, only for the child to grow heavier and heavier until the child identified himself as Christ.
As I asked Jesus why He never showed Himself to me, prideful and arrogant thing that I am, He said gently, “But you have seen Me. You have been with Me all day. Don’t you remember hearing My voice when Ana spoke about her life? Don’t you remember seeing Me when you heard the story of the woman who carried a heavy brick with her along the Camino de Santiago as a gift to her son who was going to be confirmed later that year and was discerning a vocation to the priesthood? Don’t you remember laughing with Me as I walked through the woods with you and the other ladies on your team?”
As soon as His questions pressed into my heart, a song began to play …
“And don’t you remember seeing Me every time you walk into the kitchen in the morning and I’m there making the coffee? Don’t you remember hearing Me crying in My bedroom so that I could see you and so you could hold Me and feed Me? Don’t you remember hearing My thundering footsteps and feeling My head bash against your face as I jumped into your bed to cuddle you?”
I cried and cried as Jesus told me where I had seen Him, felt Him, and known Him. How is it that I could’ve missed Him? Jesus was everywhere; all I had to do was look.
From that moment, as I sat in front of the body of Christ, I knew what I had to do. I had to live each day, purposefully looking for Him. I had to know and believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He was always with me.
My dear friends, sometimes life can push Jesus to the back corner of our thoughts. Our days get busy, our minds become preoccupied. But Jesus should never be in the back corner. Let my experience help you remember that we need to keep Jesus front and center.
Have you seen Jesus today?
Copyright 2019 Kelly Tallent