God Among Us
by Fr. Sergius Wroblewski, OFM
Pope Benedict XV I and the Eucharist
The Eucharist holds a special place likeness” (Phil 2:7 ). Through the his infancy narrative. Joseph
in the Holy Father’s theology. Pope Incarnation, the Word was brought comes at the conclusion of the
Benedict’s ecclesiology especially near to us.“By the power of Davidic genealogy,“Jacob the
is eucharistic and in his book on the Holy Spirit he was born father of Joseph, the husband
the Eucharist, Joseph Cardinal of the Virgin Mary and became of Mary” (Mt 1:16). Joseph upheld
Ratzinger, God Is near Us; the Eu- man”(Creed). From that moment the Davidic dynasty and trans-
charist, the Heart of Life, Ignatius on, God is near us. Hence, he formed it into the Kingdom
Press: San Francisco, 2003, the was given the name Emmanuel of God in the whole world.
Holy Father lays the ground work which means “God with us.” The figure of Mary appears
for the eucharistic presence in the The biblical foundation for alongside that of Joseph.
very first chapter. This article is a this teaching that the Incarnation Matthew applied the prophecy
paraphrase of his teaching in chap-
is God’s nearness is to be found about the Virgin Birth to Mary.
ters one and five.
in three scriptural texts: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive
and bear a Son and shall call his
1. Lk 1:28-36 name Emmanuel” (Mt 1:23) which
A s human beings, we dread
being alone because we
were made for relationships,
for being with others, with human
beings and with the Triune God.
The archangel Gabriel told
Mary that the Child who was
being born would be called Son
of the Most High, Son of God.
The Holy Spirit as the power of
means,“God with us.” But this
nearness of God through the In-
carnation had nothing to do with
Joseph whose prerogative was to
protect the Mother and Child.
Perhaps that is why cell phones the Most High would bring about Everything in this narrative is
are so popular; they help us keep the conception in a mysterious about Christ: Joseph is the child’s
in touch all day long. Moreover, way. Luke uses the word “over- father according to the Law; and
what we desire, consciously shadow” to describe it. That word Mary is his Mother and embodies
or unconsciously, above all is is an allusion to the Holy Cloud the hope of humankind.
fellowship with God. that rested over the “Tent of
Before the fall of Adam and Meeting” to show God’s presence 3. Jn 1:13ff
Eve, these two were privileged and nearness. Mary’s “yes” (fiat) This text is “the Word became
to enjoy intimate fellowship and offered her womb as a dwelling flesh.” We have become so accus-
communion with God. We can place for God in the world. tomed to this statement so that
infer that from Gen 3:8 that God we’re no longer amazed by this
daily walked in the garden in the 2. Mt 1:18-25 immense reality, the union of
cool of the day, and that Adam What stands out in Matthew’s divinity and humanity which
and Eve enjoyed this time with infancy narrative is the annuncia- makes God near. John used the
him. But when they chose to trust tion to Joseph. Matthew sets the expression,“pitching a tent,”
the devil instead of God and to figure of Joseph in the forefront in which is an allusion to the Tent
disobey the command of God,
they sinned. Sin’s consequence
was separation from God, the
rupture of fellowship with him.
The rest of the Bible is the story
of how God fulfilled his promise
of salvation so that sinful human
beings could once again draw
near to a Holy God. That hap-
pened when God sent his Son to
become as men are.“He emptied
himself... coming in human
Fr. Sergius Wroblewski, OFM: Snapshots taken from a Catholic series, produced
in DVD, that had been presented on Catholic television in Johannesburg,
1 Immaculata South Africa, where Father Sergius was a missionary for many years.
of Meeting where Moses saw
God “face to face.” The “yes” of
drink his blood
you have no *
Mary opened for the Word, the life in you...
SP ACE ! Growing in Holiness Through the Eucharist
Second Person, the place where My flesh is food L IMIT
he could “pitch his Tent.”
All these things happened at
JUNE 16 - 17, 2006
Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusa- dismissed his claim MAIN PRESIDER: Fr. Sergius Wroblewski, OFM
lem; hence, they are regarded as absurd. And Jesus CELEBRANTS:
as sacred places where one did not explain Most Rev. Bishop Joseph N. Perry
can see the footprints of the himself by saying, Fr. John Grigus, OFM CONV.
Fr. Stephen McKinley, OFM CONV. io c esa
Redeemer and where the “Do not be dis- A r c h d or e d
Incarnation touched us directly. turbed; this is
June 16 June 17 S p ons !
They lay the foundation for metaphorical
• Prayer & Praise • Prayer & Praise
God’s nearness, that closeness language.”Instead,
to us which will find its grandest refusing to tone it • Opening Mass • 3 conferences
expression in the Eucharist. down, he said with • All-Night Adoration • Lunch • Closing Mass
The Presence of the is food indeed.” *** PLEASE RESPOND BY JUNE 9 ***
Lord in the Eucharist This heavenly Bread PDF registration: www.marytown.com/upcoming.html
In his fifth chapter, Pope had to be literally,
Marytown • 1600 W. Park Ave • Libertyville, IL 60048
Benedict gave his observations physically eaten.
about the Real Presence in the Event Co-Sponsored by
The Pope John Paul II Eucharistic Adoration Association
Eucharist. His main teaching is The second of the Archdicoese of Chicago
that the Glorified Christ is present question is about
in the Eucharist; and that he has the possibility for a
a Body that is different, described body to share itself
briefly in 1 Cor 15:42- 44. out: that is, to be always there in Lord Jesus Christ, both God and
Explaining the Real Presence many hosts. First of all, we have Man. And that calls for adoration.
has always been difficult. Nowa- to understand that this happens We are not on the same footing ;
days, they raise three questions in the sphere of the Resurrection, he is the wholly Other. Saint
about the Eucharist: 1. Does the a sphere in which we do not live Augustine said to First Communi-
Bible say anything about it; nor have any experience of. cants,“No one can receive Com-
perhaps it was misunderstood? The Resurrection appearances munion without first adoring.”
2. Is it truly possible for a show Jesus to have a body When the monks of Cluny (c. 1000
body to share itself out into with entirely different qualities AD) went to receive Communion,
all places and at all times? (Cf Lk 24:36- 42). Moreover, in the they took their shoes off; they
3. Hasn’t modern science, language of the Bible, the word knew the burning bush was there.
with its view on “substance” “body”—“This is my Body”—does
and material being, rendered not mean just body “in contradis- The third question raises
obsolete the Church’s doctrine tinction to the spirit.” Body in the the issue of the Real Presence of
about the Eucharist? language of the Bible denotes Christ and asks if this doctrine
The Bible does speak of the “the whole person in whom body has not been rendered obsolete
Real Presence in John’s Gospel and spirit are indivisibly one.” since “transubstantiation” comes
6:33,35. Jesus said: “Unless you eat “This is my Body” therefore, from primitive science. In the
the flesh of the Son of Man and means “This is my whole person 12th century the mystery of the
existing in bodily form.” Its nature Eucharist was being torn apart
is described in the words “which by two groups.
is given up for you;” it is a self- There were those who claimed
giving Person and he can be Jesus was there bodily and that
shared out. Our body is a body in the Eucharist we chew on the
that separates us from others. But flesh of the Lord like cannibals.
the Risen Body is not limiting; its And there were those who argued
capacity for communion remains. that since Christ cannot be there
In Holy Communion we do in an earthly body, the Eucharist is
not receive “a piece of the body, simply symbolic. The Holy Father
a thing, but him, the risen One pointed out that Christ is not in
himself. We receive a Person, the the realm of what can be mea-
continued on page 3
Immaculata April/May/June 2006 2
M ARY TOWN FESTIVAL
Sunday, July 30 See
Henny Penny Chicken, games for adults and children, music and lots of fun!
MASSES: 10:00 AM, 12 NOON
1600 West Park Avenue, Libertyville, IL 60048 • 847-367-7800 • www.marytown.com
continued from page 2
sured and quantified.“Christ is transignification; she insists is consumed in seconds, but
there with his true Being (the on “the change of substance.” then we adore because the
Second Person in a glorified It is not the different use of the Risen One remains in us as
Body) and that is the “substance.” bread and wine that changes but long as the species endure.
He made two observations through the faithful prayer of the In that way the reception of
about this “substance.” First, the Church, the Lord himself does Holy Communion stretches out
Body of Christ is not added to a new thing; and his presence beyond the time of celebration
the bread, as if they could exist as remains and we adore the Lord of the Mass. That is why the prac-
two substances in the same place in the Bread and the Wine. tice in the Church for roughly a
side by side. The Risen Lord takes thousand years has been to install
possession of the bread and wine ; This teaching about the a tabernacle to house the conse-
he lifts them up out of the setting Eucharist justifies Eucharistic crated Bread with the Risen
of their normal existence into a Adoration. Some object that the one and to place near it a vigil
new order. Eucharist is not to be gazed at but light to indicate that the Lord
The other observation has to do to be eaten. In other words, it is is always there to be adored.
with “transignification.” It is said to be eaten, not adored. But when For as Pope Benedict XVI states,
that the bread does not change, we receive Christ, that is not like “Without adoration, there is no
but its use. The Church rejects this eating a slice of bread. The Bread transformation of the world.” ✝
3 Immaculata April/May/June 2006