The Holy One In Our Midst

“There is no surer formula for discontent than to try to satisfy our cravings for the ocean of Infinite Love from the teacup of finite satisfactions.” -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

I just got home from a Holy Hour of Adoration at my local parish; an hour of praising, praying and singing to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It was a time where He once again overwhelmed me with the beauty and extravagance of His love, a love displayed most profoundly on the cross and now more subtly through the appearance of mere bread. That Jesus gives Himself so completely to us in this sacrament is a divine Mystery that my finite mind will never be able to fully comprehend, but it is one that He is using to remind me that the desires of my heart can be satisfied in Him alone.

During part of the Holy Hour I meditated on this passage: “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to them and fed them” (Hosea 11:4). Here God describes His compassion towards Israel, a people who forsake and turn away from Him to man-made gods time after time. Despite His care and provision, they have a propensity for idolatry. And how often has this been true of me? Over and over throughout my life I attempt to find happiness and pleasure in places other than at the feet of Jesus. I turn to sin instead of Him, seeking a joy whose fullness only He can supply.

And yet God, as He did with Israel, leads me back to Him with His grace and ties of love. He tells us in His Word that man cannot live by bread alone, and so at Mass He changes a piece of bread into what we need most: Himself. Our Savior comes down to us and feeds us with nothing but His own body and blood, soul and divinity.

This sounds crazy – and actually, it is – but our God does some pretty extreme things because of His everlasting love for us. Think about that for a moment. God loves us infinitely, unconditionally, radically, and to the point of His incarnation as a man, crucifixion on a tree, and resurrection from a tomb. He is Infinite Love itself, and this God is calling you and me, into intimacy with Him by knowing his Son as Savior. Only this love relationship can fulfill the deepest longings of our souls, because we were created for it.

Jesus has made these truths more visible for me through the Eucharist. It’s paradoxical, I know, because we can’t actually see the miracle happen with our eyes. But through the appearance of a finite creation that was meant to satisfy physical hunger, He becomes my divine food to infinitely and spiritually nourish me. Jesus is a God who redeemed the world by entering into its brokenness, and He continues humbling Himself to enter into and bodily commune with His broken people. We crave many things in this world, but He is what we truly can’t live without. Jesus, the Holy One, is in our midst. “And I bent down to them and fed them.”

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