Monday, August 29, 2011
With Us Forever
"I am with you always," is the promise of Jesus at the very end of Matthew's Gospel. Near the beginning of the Gospel Matthew tells us that Jesus fulfills the promise of Emmanuel which means "God with us." In the middle of the Gospel Jesus says, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."(18;20) Matthew wants us to keep in mind that the Risen Lord is constantly present within us and among us.
It's easy to forget that this is real presence, not just some kind of moral presence. The presence that Matthew calls to our attention in these passages is as real as the presence of Jesus in the Mass or in the tabernacle. Because we don't see Jesus or the signs of the sacrament, we can lose awareness of the Risen Lord living in us and among us. We can catch ourselves trying to be good by our own will power, not counting on Jesus within us to share his goodness with us. We can mistreat others as if Jesus were not living in them. We can fail to feel the living presence of Christ whenever a group of us are together. Jesus Christ is really and truly with us forever.