Richard Rohr – The Mystery of Presence

The Eucharistic body and blood of Christ is a place we must come to again and again to find our own face, to find our deepest name, and our absolute identity in God. It takes years for this to sink in. It is too big a truth for any one moment, too grand and wonderful for our small hearts and minds.

So we keep eating this mystery that is simultaneously the joy of God and the suffering of God packed into one meal. (Some have seen the body/bread as eating the joy and the blood/wine as drinking the suffering.) All we can really do is to be present ourselves, because we cannot ever rationally understand this. Presence cannot really be explained.

When the two presences meet, Jesus and the soul, then we have what Catholics brilliantly call “the Real Presence.” We did maintain the objective end of the presence from God’s side rather well, but we seldom taught people the subjective way of how to be present themselves! Presence is a relational concept, and both sides must be there, or there is no real presence.

Adapted from Eucharist as Touchstone (CD, MP3)


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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