Dancing for Joy at His Love!

The gift of the Holy Eucharist 

It was time for prayer, and kneeling in eager anticipation in the front pew was 7 year-old Jayla. Her mother was busy meeting with one of our Sisters and this little one had just been informed that Jesus lived with us in our chapel in the “gold box”.  She asked us, “Do you ever take Him out??” “Actually, yes we do,” and we were just about to begin our Holy Hour. So the Sisters asked Jayla, “We are going to take Jesus out of the gold box – do you want to come see Him?” She eagerly begged her mom, “Can we go see God?! Can we go see God?!” She ran up the stairs with anticipation and as she knelt there, the excitement at taking Jesus out was so great that her little body began to tremor. Then the moment arrived, and as Jesus was lovingly placed in the monstrance, Jayla couldn’t contain her joy anymore. She began to have a full out dance party in the front pew! Her reaction was as unexpected as it was thoroughly delightful!

While reflecting on the response of her little heart, I couldn’t help but compare it to my own reaction to Jesus, and to be honest, it’s not my typical response – especially as I stumble into the chapel at the crack of dawn! Yet her pure delight reminds us of the true gift and blessing we have in Jesus’ Eucharistic presence with us every day. When we pause for a moment to reflect how tremendous it is that Jesus is here with us in the tabernacle of every church, in every part of the world, our hearts can’t help but be led to awe. St. Peter Julian Eymard says, “How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest.”

How tender and sweet is the love of God in the Eucharist and how far He goes to remind us that we are not alone. Fr. Bransfield says that the fear of being alone is one of the greatest fears of the human heart. Jesus remains with us in the Eucharist as “the perfect love that casts out all fear” (1 Jn 4:18), and directly speaks to that lie. As He reveals His love in the Eucharist, we are confirmed in the truth that He will never leave us, that He will be with us “until the end of time” (Mt 28:20). It’s a love that can only grow with faith, yet the more we make acts of faith in this truth the more evident it becomes in our lives. Faith allows us to see the face of Jesus in the Eucharist, who is gazing at us continually with love. In time this love becomes like the effortless love of old friends, just happy to be with the other. How good Jesus our Friend is to us and how much He longs to just be with us, His friends! “I have no longer called you servants, but friends” (Jn 15:15).

The more we come to spend time with God, the more we realize that He delights in revealing His love to us. Not only does He pour out His love on us in giving His Son in the Eucharist, He also longs to reveal Himself to us in the love of those around us – in our spouse, our family, our friends, our roommates, our co-workers. God is constantly revealing something of His love through them. As Caryll Houslander says, “It is part of God’s plan for us that Christ shall come to us in everyone…” If our hearts are open, we can begin to see the countless ways God is affirming His unconditional love for us in those around us. In gratitude for the gift of His love, we are invited to be the revelation of His love for others as well. God’s love is waiting for us and eagerly awaiting our response in love! As we look around the table during this holiday season, may our hearts find many reasons to dance for joy at the presence of love in our lives!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Your Son, truly present to us in the Blessed Sacrament. How great is Your love for us and how good You are to us! Give us hearts of gratitude like Mary our Mother’s, that readily turn back to You with praise and willingness to pour out the love we have abundantly received from You on all those we encounter. Thank you for Your Goodness and Love – Amen!