This morning Fr. Gregory Gresko, OSB, prior of Mary Mother of the Church Abbey, here in Richmond, celebrated the Eucharist with a small group of faculty and staff. Liturgical law mandates that Mass be celebrated once a month in a chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. After Mass I told the girls at Morning Gathering that “JESUS is back in the house!” I encouraged them to reverence the Lord when they enter and leave. I mentioned the sanctuary lamp which is the tell-tale sign that the Blessed Sacrament is in the tabernacle. This wonderful mysery is hard to describe in words, but make a visit, I suggested, and you'll sense the change. The feeling of Presence is real.
The tabernacle that holds and secures the Blessed Sacrament has a long history. The people of Israel set up a tabernacle in the dessert as a “holy of holies” – a safe place for the tablets of the covenant. Our tabernacle holds the fulfillment of that covenant – the Lord JESUS - the long-awaited messiah who has promised to remain with us in a special way in the humble elements of bread and wine. Why? Good question. Here's a thought...
When Moses heard the voice of GOD in the burning bush, he asked in whose name he would be speaking. “Tell them, ‘I AM’ sent you.” This name given to Moses is too sacred to be uttered. It cannot even be written. Our Jewish brothers and sisters remove the vowels! And we, as Catholics, have finally embraced this practice. We no longer say or sing the tetragrammaton - the four letters.
‘YHWH’ can be translated several ways:
‘I AM WHO AM’,
‘My favorite translation is: ‘I AM THE ONE WHO WILL BE WITH YOU.’
This is the GOD who brought Israel through the desert and sent the Son to open the gates of paradise. This is the GOD who remains in Word, in Spirit and in bread and wine. This GOD will be with us until the kingdom comes in its fullness. I think the Blessed Sacrament is evidence of this faithful love. Today, we receive the gift of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist - with gratitude and joy.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki