You have arrived
It is a feast in the Church that is bittersweet, for it is wonderful that Jesus ascended to his Father in heaven, but at the same time it can be sad. At the surface level we might be tempted to think that Jesus has abandoned us on this earth.
The good news is that Jesus did not abandon us and most importantly, he left us a lasting presence among us.
Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you” (John 14:18). Besides coming to us again in the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus also left himself in the Most Holy Eucharist.
The Catechism explains the uniqueness of this presence that Jesus left us.
"‘Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,’ is present in many ways to his Church…But ‘he is present…most especially in the Eucharistic species.’"
“The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as ‘the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.’ In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’…‘it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.’”
This is good news! Jesus did not leave us as orphans, but remains with us in a real way in the Eucharist. Let us praise the Lord for this great gift and raise our hearts in thanksgiving for his abiding presence among us.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)