My Lord and My God

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

We are acquainted with the phrase “seeing is believing.” However, when you reflect on this expression, we may question whether such an expression has anything at all to do with “believing,” since if you are “seeing” then what is there to believe? “Seeing” as to with the eyes -- a physical faculty of the body, while “believing” deals with a spiritual faculty of the soul. Thus, when we drive on a highway,  implicit is our “faith” that we will not be a victim of a drunk driver. We have no physical proof about this until we have safely arrived back home. Our interim of travel was dependent on that spiritual faculty called “faith” -- a form of knowledge -- otherwise we would not have ventured out of our home.

When the Apostle Thomas made the condition for his “believing that Jesus had risen from the dead” rest upon his “physically” seeing and touching the risen Body of Jesus; faith knowledge would not have been involved in that physical encounter. For “faith” to be involved in this case, it would mean Thomas accepting the earlier words of Christ about His impending Resurrection as well as the words of the witnessing Apostles about their personal experience with the Risen Christ -- neither of which was acceptable to Thomas. Only when Thomas actually saw, did he exclaim: My Lord and My God. The response of Jesus, however, indicates He was not pleased with Thomas’ act of faith. “BECAUSE you have seen, Thomas, you have believed; BLESSED are they that have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29). We arrive at this conclusion from ascertaining HOW Thomas expressed those words “My” Lord and My God. This is done by noting the difference in emphasis between a nominative case adjective of possession “my” and a genitive case of possession “of me” -- as found in the Greek text -- a strong sense of personal possession -- in the sense of “you belong to me ON MY TERMS.”

Faith, however, is a necessary condition if one is to enter into the mystery of ourselves and a loving relationship with God -- as revealed to us in Holy Scripture. For example: “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Among examples of belief in Jesus, as set down in Scripture, is one found in Mk 5: 28-34, where a woman, afflicted with a long term blood problem, believed that if she but touched the garment of Jesus she would be cured; she did so and was cured. Jesus exclaimed that someone had touched Him, since He felt “power go out from Him” -- God’s response to an authentic act of faith, free of any conditions we might impose (as did Thomas) in which we are strengthened in the grace of Christ’s presence.

In the Eucharist, we confront this very mystery of the glorified risen Body of Jesus Christ. Recall the words of Jesus: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will not have everlasting life in you” -- meaning to share in the mystery of the Incarnation is where God came into our human nature to enable us to enter into His Divine life -- as made manifest in the words of Jesus Christ: “…he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take it; this is my body’…he took a cup, gave thanks, he said to them, ‘this is my blood of the covenant which will be shed for many…’” (Mk 14: 22-24).

Each time, then, we approach Holy Communion, there is being presented the mystery of the glorified risen Body of Christ. Do we say in a similar way Thomas’ original expression “MY Lord and MY God” in the sense of the Eucharist being looked upon by an unbelieving world as simply a SYMBOL -- accepting the Eucharist then ON MY TERMS which echoes THAT OF AN UNBELIEVING WORLD? Or do we approach the Eucharist as that woman approached Jesus in the Gospel -- with an unconditional faith -- such that Christ could affirm its effect as found in His words “power has gone out of me” whose equivalent is in our reception of the Holy Eucharist where we receive on God’s Word the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ -- that awesome power that has gone out from Him into us.

The implications of this is brought out in the Church’s Liturgical prayer at Mass before receiving the Holy Eucharist: “May the reception of the body and blood of Christ be not a JUDGMENT and CONDEMNATION, but rather a protection of body and soul and a healing remedy.” What is this Judgment and Condemnation? -- to receive the Eucharist as but a symbol --thereby rejecting the WORD of God and the Divine Mystery contained in the Eucharist as simply a mere symbol as professed by an unbelieving world!! But when received with the supernatural virtue of faith, the Eucharist becomes for us “a protection of mind, body and soul, enabling us to exclaim with St. Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20), and assuring us that the “heavenly Father will see and love in us what He sees in His Son” (Preface Prayer at Mass).

“Although you have not seen him, you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him; you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1Pt 1:8-9).

 

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Robert
 

Clergy Corner

Read our Clergy Corner blog.


Recent

Salvation

Saturday, February 13, 2021
When God created the human race, He made them fully alive and fully healthy, "to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth" (Gen 1:28).... Read More

Change Now, for the Kingdom is Here!

Sunday, January 24, 2021
In creating the world, God’s loving purpose was to establish His Kingdom by sharing the gift of His life with His creation. When Jesus said,... Read More

Journey

Sunday, January 3, 2021
Like all of us, these astrologers too were in constant search after human fulfillment, but they believed that only in the Savior Jesus they could... Read More

Family

Sunday, December 27, 2020
On this Sunday following the Nativity of the Lord, we are joyfully celebrating the Holy Family of Nazareth. It is a most suitable context because... Read More

We Are Almost There!

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.” We are almost there! We have... Read More

God is Already Here ... Do You Recognize Him?

Friday, December 11, 2020
We hear people saying to us, "we must put God in our lives," but God is already here! Our business is to recognize Him. "There is... Read More

Make Advent 2020 Your Best!

Saturday, November 28, 2020
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert!" This should be our personal motto or theme for Advent 2020! We have finally made... Read More

Our Indifference Hurts Jesus the Most

Saturday, November 21, 2020
Many people are becoming forgetful about so many things, particularly about God. How many of us still remember the truth that "the earth is... Read More

We can truly grow richer in grace because God is so very generous

Saturday, November 14, 2020
This Sunday we are told the Parable of the Talents.  In the end, two of the servants worked hard using what they had received to produce... Read More

Indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Friday, November 6, 2020
I’d like to start by taking us on a little trip through Canon Law. Canon 992: “An indulgence is the remission before God of... Read More

Ordinary People - that is Precisely what Saints Are!

Sunday, November 1, 2020
Ordinary people - that is precisely what saints are! Saints are ordinary persons like you and me. They too had sinned and had their share of human... Read More

Love Your Neighbor a Yourself

Sunday, October 25, 2020
Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus considered love of neighbor "his commandment," that which summarizes the whole Law. "This is... Read More

Paid for by JESUS 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020
Brothers and Sisters, In today’s Gospel, we see yet again people intent on trying to entrap Jesus. Why? Why are people so threatened by Him?... Read More

God has a Plan for this Bankrupt World

Saturday, October 10, 2020
In spite of all appearances to the contrary, God has a plan for this bankrupt world. He knows what He is going to make of this world. His plan is... Read More

Total Commitment to the Lord

Friday, September 18, 2020
The life of a Christian whose commitment to the Lord is not total is a waste. St. Paul was a totally committed apostle so that he could assure his... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!