Wednesday, 14 December 2011

WWJD?... go to Mass

I've always cringed at the question, 'what would Jesus do?'

Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury said recently:

For you will sometimes hear people say, “what would Jesus have done, what would Jesus have said,” as if He were some distant figure of history whose words and actions we can now only guess at. In the reality of the Eucharist, in the reality of this Mass we hear what He says to us, what He now does for us.

As we prepare ourselves for Christmas in this half of Advent, let's remember, as Bishop Davies reminds us, of the words Blessed John Paul II gave to the world on his last world youth day:

...the same Redeemer is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In the stable of Bethlehem he allowed Himself to be worshipped under the humble outward appearances of a new born baby by Mary, by Joseph, by the shepherds; in the consecrated Host we adore Him sacramentally present.

That's why we have cribs in many of our churches! When St Francis was a deacon in Assisi, he brought in the farm animals during the Mass to re-create the nativity scene. There was no baby Jesus figurine in this scene, however; the baby Jesus is Jesus in the Eucharist, on the altar! 

For the bread and wine we will place on this Altar after the words of consecration are spoken, His words “This is my Body, This is my Blood,” are no longer bread or wine but Christ our Lord Himself given for us. And once we know and recognise this we would never fail to find our way here at the beginning of every new week of our lives.

Take a look at the whole of Bishop Davies' sermon, 'we cannot live without Sundays', to a youth gathering in his diocese; he speaks very eloquently of distractions from our Sunday Mass attendance, and is very pertinent, especially preparing for Christmas next week. 

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