During the hour of Divine Mercy (3:00), I like to walk over to church and be with Jesus. He’s my next-door neighbor. As I’ve mentioned before, I can see the doors of the church that lead to the chapel and the Blessed Sacrament from my kitchen window. (I know. I’ve got it good.) I go over and say my rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet for you, or Stations of the Cross before the Blessed Sacrament and let Him teach me. Today I decided to sit in the main part of the church, a couple of rows back from the front, where I have a clear view of the tabernacle, and crucifix, the beautiful Divine Mercy portrait, and Our Lady of Grace. While I was contemplating the Forth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross, I focused on the fallen Jesus.
To help me stay focused I sometimes imagine Him up before the altar, scourged and dejected, but today I thought of Him fallen in the dirt. I pictured Him right there in front, right where the priest stands to distribute Holy Communion. Ground down into the carpet. Beaten down- with His gaze upward as if imploring help.
I find it very interesting how that picture popped into my head as there have been two instances recently where that image has been a reality. Two times within a week, during morning Mass- when I have looked up from prayer after receiving Communion- I’ve noticed a fragment of a Host on the ground where the Eucharist is being distributed. This was completely by accident, of course, but it has made me ponder- not for the first time- the incredible depths to which our Lord will sink to make Himself assessable to His creatures. Literally.
There are ignorant souls, who decide they don’t like the taste of a Host, so they discard it in the pews. Those who receive Communion in the state of mortal sin. People who don’t believe the reality that what they are receiving is actually and truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. And then the rare times when in distributing, quite by accident, a piece of this Holy Bread falls to the ground…
Ah, the lows He sinks for us. We will never fathom the great depths until we are united with Him in Heaven. My puny mind tries in vain to contemplate a love that is beyond my understanding.
I’m amazed, as I think on it, because it isn’t a normal thing for me to check out the ground around the area of distribution, but on those two occasions, I did. Perhaps I was tapped on the shoulder. In the first instance, though, that gentle tap was not enough to get me to immediately act. I waited. I studied the tiny, white speck on the carpet from my vantage point in the second row and wondered if it could possibly be what I was thinking it was. Then I got really nervous as the debate played out in my mind. Stay put, and risk that the Sacred Host will get stepped on, or get up and disturb the blessed quiet of the moment, attracting unwanted attention to myself…
In the second occurrence I actually glanced up just as one half of a Host fell to the ground. There was no mistaking that one, so I sprang to my feet immediately and stepped uncomfortably over the kneeling people in my way as I quickly made a beeline for that Host. Let me tell you, I do not want to draw attention to myself and my mind frantically searches for ways to get out of the situation. But just as potent is the real truth of that Real Truth. It is Jesus. It is Jesus, and I have to step outside the comfy box of safety and anonymity and help Him. It certainly makes me stop and analyze my belief that those tiny fragments of what to any logical mind would appear to be a meaningless, white crumb- is in fact, God. And I kinda feel like this tapping on my shoulder lately is a test for me, to see if I am willing and able to acknowledge Him for Who He is.
Do I really believe? And if so, to what extent am I willing to go to prove it? Tough to ponder and the same questions could be asked of all of us. Do we see Him in all the places He is thrown in the mud and trampled underfoot? Is the Eucharist really the Source and Summit of our Catholic faith? physically as well as spiritually. And with that, do we spend any time at all in making reparation to Him Who alone knows the depths He willing subjects Himself daily for this unfathomable love?
It always makes me think of that verse from scripture that sums it up so powerfully: “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).