The mystery of God’s Presence
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
When Moses asks Lord God revealed in the burning bush about his name he receives the answer, ‘I AM’ (Exodus 3:14). In a sense this name contains the definition of God whose essence is the fact that he is, that – as metaphysics says – he is the necessary being, that God must be. Every human being is only a contingent being – we can exist or we may not exist, our existence is not obligatory – but God is and must be. Therefore, the sin of unbelief, atheism, strikes the very essence of God, as if it negates what is inscribed in his name. When man rejects God he introduces a big disorder into God’s world system, into the world of God’s ideas and mind. One should be deeply aware of that and priests should feel big responsibility for every man who rejects God and lives godlessly. Faith is a grace, this is true, but the one that rejects God also rejects the grace of faith. Therefore, one should pay attention to the reason of man’s unbelief that can be sometimes a condition of sin, causing that man does not feel the impulse that Lord God sends him.
God’s presence in people’s lives is a great mystery that accompanies all of us and that we are very often eye-witnesses, experiencing the activities of the Divine Providence. But perhaps we most strongly feel God’s presence in the person of the Eucharistic Jesus during every Mass. It was him that commanded all his disciples and followers to transform bread and wine into his Body and Blood in remembrance of him, like he did it during the Last Supper and sending out his Apostles with the mission of evangelisation he assured them, ‘And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20). So we can say that God’s presence among us is most meaningful during every Eucharist; the presence also marked by great thanksgiving.
In the life of the Church the months of May and June have special references to the Eucharist. During this period in Poland we can see children who receive their First Communion. We can observe deep experiences of their parents when their little boys and girls come to the Lord’s Table. Then we have June with the prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and especially with the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Eucharistic presence of Jesus is rooted in our churches but on Corpus Christi Lord Jesus comes to us, carried in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. Believers show him love and gratitude, with big faith and joy. They thank him for his kindness and all help, and above all, they thank him for his presence, which we need so much.
Each of us should realise that Lord Jesus, present in the tabernacle in the church, is also present in man’s heart – in my life, in the life of my parish, village or city, in the history of my nation and country. In a way the Eucharist guards this awareness of people who are to live in God’s presence that protects them against all evil, in the presence of God who comes to each of us in his Divine Providence. We do not even realise how many times Lord God helps us – so often his help and love are anticipating – through the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and reason, council and fortitude, ability and piety as well as the fear of God.
We must learn to see constantly this God’s Presence in our lives; appreciate the presence of Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and live with the conviction that he always waits for us, for our prayers, sighs, notices. May we see the presence of Lord Jesus in every sign and symbol as often as possible and may it be a great challenge for us to realise God’s teaching. Although we encounter God WHO IS, in whom we move and we are, at almost every moment of our lives we should know at the same time that he is a personal God, that we have interpersonal contacts with him and that he is Love.