Pete was worried about something lately. It kept him up at night, and made him distracted during the day. When people would talk to him, he could feel his mind drifting. Often the person who was speaking to him would have to get his attention.
Pete was waiting for the results of a biopsy. For some reason or other the lab had misplaced the paperwork which turned a week’s wait into almost three! When Pete had gone for his wellness exam, his doctor had found a lump on his back that wasn’t there before. He told Pete that he needed to get this checked out. So, off he went to the Hospital. The lump was removed, and then there was the biopsy.
Pete was en excitable kind of guy to begin with, so this stress of waiting was not the best thing for him.
Pete was not a very religious guy either. He went to church sometimes, but there were other times that he would let things get in the way. He would say to himself, “God understands”. He really didn’t have too much of a prayer life either.
Yet, when the doctor found the tumor on his back, things changed in an instant. He made sure he went to Mass that Sunday, and he actually found himself on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament after Mass was over asking Jesus to help him out. Pete actually started to go to Mass during the week too! He found that going to Mass calmed him down and gave him a sense of peace. He began to like his time in the quiet. He was thinking, “Why didn’t I have this done before?”
So, when the doctor’s office called and said that the tumor was benign, Pete could feel the weight of the world being lifted off his shoulders. His prayers were answered. And he promised himself that he was going to get his act together with the rest of his life. He was going to be a more faithful Catholic and try to live his life in a way that would be more pleasing in God’s eyes.
Pete kept this promise for about six months, and then he began to drift back into the old ways again. And all the old distractions came back as well—-only this time even worse. It was as if his “conversion experience” had never happened.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus gives himself to us in this Sacrament so that the grace we receive from it will strengthen us to live our lives the way God wants us to from one day to the next. Without it we would be relying on ourselves which is always a dangerous prospect. It’s good to think of the Eucharist as Food for the Journey. So, if we stay close to the Lord, he will not forsake us.
In a few minutes we will hear these words from the Preface of the Mass (the words before we sing the Holy, Holy): “As we eat his flesh that was sacrificed for us, we are made strong, and as we drink his Blood that was poured out for us, we are washed clean.” This is the Sacrament that sees us through—-that sustains us each day. It’s through the Eucharist, most especially, that Jesus develops a relationship with us.
So, don’t just turn to Christ when you’re “in the fox hole”. What’s that phrase? “There are no atheists in foxholes”. Have confidence in the Lord’s power to rescue you. But be aware of Jesus’ presence in your life everyday. Don’t ask for help in time of trouble, and then, when the trouble has past, say, ok, Lord, thanks, but I don’t need you anymore, you can go back into your lamp.
Stay close to the Lord and know that he will never abandon you.