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Godís Love Poured Out For Us

by Peter J. Lynch

Only a few months ago I heard news about a man who was in the hospital with an aneurysm, which can be fatal. Before he was to go into surgery he asked if the hospital chaplain would come to bring him Holy Communion. The chaplain came, communicated the Eucharist, and shortly after the man was brought to surgery. As the doctors went ahead with procedures they found that there was no longer any trace of the aneurysm. The doctors could not explain how it was clearly present before, and how it had completely disappeared by the time of surgery. The only explanation we can give is that it was due to the miraculous healing power found in the Eucharist, the Presence of Jesus Christ. This is understandable when we consider what a great gift we have in this Bread of Life.

Something of what we find in the Eucharist is what Hans Urs Von Balthasar describes as the love relationship between the three Persons of the Triune God. He explains that in the love relationship between the Father and the Son, the Father gives himself over to the Son in reckless abandon, and the Son gives himself in reckless abandon back over to the Father. And this dynamic of reckless abandon, one to the other, is the love which is the Holy Spirit. They are still distinct Persons in the Trinity, with their love accomplished by their reckless abandon one to the other. We find this kind of Trinitarian love in the Incarnation of the Word of God, where the Creator pours himself out into his creation so that his creation may come to an intimate relationship with him and by this come to know his love outpoured into them. The highpoint of this love of reckless abandon, or this love outpoured for our sake is found on the Cross of Christ.

On Calvary, Jesus, because of love, pours himself out for us in this greatest sacrifice. And by pouring himself out he shows us how he loves, and how we are to love; that we are to love with the love of the Trinity. So, he also shows us the love that we participate in because we have received that divine life within us by "water and the Spirit". In our Baptism God pours himself out again, in reckless abandon, into us. He abandons himself, his very life and presence, into our care, into our lives. What do we do with this great gift of love?

On the feast of Corpus Christi we celebrate all of these ways that God has given himself to us in reckless abandon, which are all summed up in the one sacrament of Godís love outpoured for us Ė the Holy Eucharist. The sacrament where God abandons himself recklessly even into our hands, into our mouths, and into our hearts and souls. With what great love God has loved us first, for "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life". The reason for Godís love poured out for us is that we may know his love, and abide in his love forever.

The feast of Corpus Christi is also a celebration of who we are as the Mystical Body of Christ. We who are his Body then live by his love. We see in this the great truth that has been uttered by the Vatican Council II, which reminds us that Christ reveals us to ourselves. That is to say that the reality of who we are is revealed to us in Christ. By virtue of being the Body of Christ the Son, we are the sons and daughters of the Father. So it is, then, that God wants us to be nourished by his love just as he would pour out his love on his Beloved. So God pours himself out in the Eucharist, the Corpus Christi, and in receiving we are made whole. We are healed not only physically or individually, as the man above, but healed spiritually of every division, and come to such intimate union with each other and God, who is the principle of our love through Christ in the Holy Spirit. May his grace be enough that we may answer his call to love one another as he loved us.

you citizen of this old town
or pilgrim from faraway
looking for some
here you may become silent
at the well of all beauty
and life
no one is a stranger
in this old Church
where God as a loving father
is waiting
only for you

Church of Notre Dame
Brugge, Belgium

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