Six Ways to Encounter Jesus in the Mass

Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me. (Luke 22:19)

Although God’s presence is everywhere, mass is my favorite place to come into his presence. Every part of the liturgy helps me experience a personal encounter with Jesus. It will provide the same relationship with Jesus for you.

  • Christ is present in the assembly of the body of Christ in the pews, for he has promised “where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20)  So sing and pray knowing that Christ is among us, gathered as the body of Christ.
  • Christ is present in the priest or bishop who presides in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. When they vest before celebrating Mass the priests  "put on Christ" in a special way.
  • Christ is present in the word proclaimed in the readings. It is Christ himself, as the Incarnate Word, who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read.
  • The Real Presence of Christ is always manifested in the elements of bread and wine, which become his body and blood. The most intense manifestation of the presence of Christ is in the holy Eucharist.
  • Christ is present in the presence of the saints and angels adoring God around the altar with us, as Jesus offers his body and blood to God his Father in heaven for our sins.
  • Christ is present in the holy Eucharist that we receive in each of our individual bodies, so he is dwells inside us.

Though different, each of these channels of his presence is real.  Each offers us a unique opportunity to recognize Christ with us, around us, within us.

 So prepare to receive his presence in the Eucharist through repentance and meditation before mass.  Fully participate in mass.  Surrender to the Lord at the consecration with expectant faith in God that he will fill you with his love to overflowing.

Burn in your mind the memory of that moment of communion with him.  Stay in his presence by returning to this touchstone during the day with songs of thanksgiving in your heart. Cherish him as you bring his presence everywhere you go.

Which of these manifestations of Jesus’ presence in the mass do you find most endearing?

 (© 2013 Nancy H C Ward)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
This entry was posted in Catholic family, Nancy Ward, Prayer, Sacraments, Scriptures and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Six Ways to Encounter Jesus in the Mass

  1. tmeuchel says:

    I am so blessed to live just 5 blocks from our church where daily mass is offered at noon. As the mother of 5 children, I don’t think I could ask for a more convenient daily mass option. Though I understand the Lord is always near to his children, I love the thought that He is just down the street waiting to meet me in such a powerful way each day.

    • Nancy Ward says:

      Going to church services daily was strange to me during my conversion to the Catholic Church. I soon saw the value of it in my spiritual life. There’s the old adage: When I miss my prayer time (or daily mass) I noticed it. When I miss my prayer time (daily mass) two days, my family notices it. When I miss my prayer time three times, everyone notices! I don’t know how I make it through the day without touching base with Jesus in person in the Eucharist. Travel and vacation times are exciting in a worldly way, but the real challenge then is to find ways to spend time with Jesus. Coming home is never a disappointment because I can relax, confident that I don’t have to search for his special presence in the Eucharist. I know where to find him.

  2. geri says:

    The mass is such an amazing experience when you really think about what’s happening. You stated it all so beautifully.

Let's hear from you: