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Dec 2016

THE VISIBLE CHRIST

Jitto David looks at how we can encounter Christ today.

Knowing Jesus

Someone recently asked me, “Who is Jesus? How can I know someone that I have never seen?” As a committed Christian I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Alpha and Omega, who existed before the beginning of time and throughout eternity. He is the Son of God, who became one of us through the Incarnation and made this world His home. He called us brothers and sisters making us children of God. The early disciples knew Jesus in the flesh. They lived with Him. They shared the same table with Christ, and witnessed His Passion, Resurrection and Ascension. So can we encounter Christ today?

Sacramental Presence

I looked for an answer in Scripture and found the words of Jesus, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed, blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) St Leo the Great in a sermon about the Lord's Ascension, described Jesus as saying, "I prepare greater things for you: when I have ascended to My Father, then you shall handle Me more perfectly and truly, for you shall grasp what you can not touch and believe what you cannot see." St Leo the Great gives us a further beautiful insight into the mystery when he said, "So that which then was visible of our Redeemer was changed into a sacramental presence, and that faith might be more excellent and stronger, sight gave way to doctrine, the authority of which was to be accepted by believing hearts enlightened with rays from above."

The Answer

St Leo was telling us that the Church is truly the body of Christ, and in the Sacraments we can tangibly experience the presence of Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit. So next time that you participate in Holy Mass, receive Holy Communion, go to Confession, attend a Baptism, Confirmation, or an Ordination, or witness the Anointing of the sick be assured that you are in the presence of the visible Christ. Yes, we can all experience the visible presence of Christ through the Sacraments of the Church. So if someone asks you this question then invite them to join you in witnessing to Christ’s presence in the Sacraments and ask the Lord to open their hearts to faith, hope and charity.

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