While it is essential to know more ‘about’ Jesus concerning the many Gospel details of His life, passion, death, and resurrection, the individual pursuit of such biographical knowledge alone doesn’t necessarily mean that we will intuitively know at once who Jesus ‘is’ in our lives.
Really getting to know Jesus exacts something more intimate from us, something much deeper which strikes at the core of our inner most being. Getting to know who Jesus is involves a personal and yet communal relationship in which we are willing to bare ourselves in total surrender recognizing our sinful nature so that we might allow Jesus to transform our individual brokenness into the ‘broken wholeness’ of His Mystical Body, the Church.
So how might we pursue such a life transforming relationship?
The challenging answer is found in Jesus’ breaking of the bread. The Sacrament of the Eucharist allows us as a community of believers to know Jesus so that He might unite our brokenness in the breaking of the bread. Such a communal recognition of who Jesus is asks each of us to join and center ourselves in Him so that we might experience His presence and grace to transform us together into His image and likeness.
In other words, our individual Eucharistic spirituality leads us necessarily to its communal expression ever seeking to recreate ourselves and the world through Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. Only when we decide to face ourselves in the stark mirror of our individual vulnerability can we then begin to know who Christ truly is in our lives as we admit our brokenness and total dependence upon Him.
The most certain way in which we can know Jesus is in the unity of Communion. Communion draws us out of ourselves into closer unity with Jesus and thus with all our fellow Catholics. We though many become one Body completely joined into a single existence in Christ.
When we offer and join ourselves to Jesus’ ‘broken wholeness’ in the sacrifice at the Eucharistic table, we come to know Him most intimately. Without the broken body of Jesus in the Eucharist, we could never be made whole because only He can heal our brokenness and restore us to new life through His redemptive death. Truly Jesus is the greatest creator of life, but even more so, He is an even greater restorer of that same life.
So let us in all our brokenness most intimately know who Jesus is by recognizing His presence, and our own, in the breaking of the bread at Communion so that He might heal and sanctify us as He transforms us together into His own image and likeness as members of His Mystical Body, the Church. Amen.
-Kevin Wright, LAMP missionary and deacon
[above] Kevin is pictured at right, where he serves full-time at a materially poor parish in NYC.