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Living Our Faith: Being present

A ciborium containing hosts and a flagon of wine are seen during Mass April 23 at St. Therese of Lisieux Church in Montauk, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

We, in making ourselves present to others, signal our belief in them and our hopes for them.

But do Christ’s reasons for wanting to be present to us resemble our reasons for wanting to be present to others?

If grace builds on nature, as theologians say, our intentions in becoming present to others should cast at least modest light on the mystery of Christ’s presence to us.

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Food for Thought

In a February 2014 homily, Pope Francis invited believers to rediscover the sense of the sacred and mystery in the Eucharist.

Though God is with us in many forms — in Scripture, in priests — God also is present to us “different from the word. It is another presence, closer, without mediation, near. It is his presence,” the pope said.

During Mass, “the presence of the Lord is real, truly real,” he said. When we’re there, we participate in an act of faith in which God is with us, the pope said.

“God approaches and is with us, and we participate in the mystery of the redemption,” he said. And that moment, when we’re there and when God is there, it is God’s time and space, he said.

In that space and time, we need to ask God to give us the opportunity to enter into the “sense of the sacred,” the pope said. “In the celebration we enter into the mystery of God, into that street that we cannot control: Only he is the unique one, the glory, the power. … He is everything. Let us ask for this grace: that the Lord would teach us to enter into the mystery of God.”