On October 25th, 2005, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, answered questions addressed to him by children. His answers reveal to all the world why he is the Pope, a Shepherd, and a priest after the Lord’s heart. He is not afraid to let the children come to the Lord.
A young boy named Andrea asked the following question: In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can't see him!
The Holy Father’s response was beautiful. No, we cannot see him, but there are many things that we do not see but they exist and are essential. For example: we do not see our reason, yet we have reason…We do not see our soul and yet it exists and we see its effects, because we can speak, think and make decisions, etc. Nor do we see an electric current, for example, yet we see that it exists…we see lights. Therefore, we do not see the very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects.
So it is with the Risen Lord: we do not see him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve. A greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation, etc., is created. Therefore, we do not see the Lord himself but we see the effects of the Lord: so we can understand that Jesus is present. And as I said, it is precisely the invisible things that are the most profound, the most important. So let us go to meet this invisible but powerful Lord who helps us to live well.
Throughout the centuries we have learned so much from St. Paul. In fact, we have so many expressions that can be attributed to him. He was “blinded by the light” as he “came down from his high horse.” Saul, on the road to Damascus, was struck by God’s blazing light. He was blinded out of necessity - so that he could see deeper than his sight could ever take him. He was relying too much on the obvious and not enough on its causes. He did not fall from the force of gravity but by God’s amazing grace. Remember, think deeper. Go deeper. Life comes to us deeper and is much more meaningful than our five senses could ever embrace, swallow or consume.
You cannot judge a book by its cover. Amen. The Eucharist falls into this category. Why do we hold this truth to be self-evident in a book but not in the Bread of life? The Eucharist is so meaningful and so powerful because it is so real. It is the source of scandal because Christ continues to be the source of scandal for many. The Bread that came down from Heaven continues to be the sign of unity - unity in one baptism, one faith, one Lord, and one body and bread – and division, because not all can accept this truth. But for those who can see, we see its effects now in our lives today and in the promise yet to come, life everlasting.
We must all go through our conversion and transformation like St. Paul. His life is the history of all Jews and Christians. He experienced his “exodus”. He left his homeland, his family name, his reputation and his plans and followed the Lord, waiting for instructions. Where it would lead him, only God could tell, and tell he did, to Ananias: “This man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name” (Acts 9:1-20). And suffer he did, for unseen promises: the conversion of millions to Jesus Christ, and life everlasting.
Let us take leave and follow the instructions of the Lord: “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” (Mk 16:15)