“The Word became flesh, to gain access into the painful places of our lives. He had to make himself vulnerable, capable of being pierced by us, if he was to find a way of piercing our hard hearts without completely destroying us.”(Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden, p. 37)
Reflecting on these words, we see in both the Eucharist and the Priesthood as “the Word made flesh” and “making himself vulnerable”. We are so perfectly capable piercing Him in these two sacramental realities. The scene of the crucifixion illustrates this: the few, very few, who recognized Christ and were present with him at the cross is another biblical foretaste of the abandonment he would feel in these two sacraments, the depth of the piercing he allows by us. He embraced total loneliness on the cross while he was with us on earth in order to identify with each and every one of us; our human loneliness without Him. He continues to do so in both the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Priesthood.
How many today do not truly understand his merciful presence in the Eucharist and how much scandalous irreverence we see towards this most Holy Sacrament inside and outside the mass. How many today –even priests themselves- do not fully grasp the power of the sacred priesthood; “in persona Christi”? The disrespect from inside and outside the priesthood is a most penetrating piercing sorrow to His Heart. Yet the mistreatment of both sacraments is embraced out of perfect Divine love by his most Sacred Heart so as to be close to us and dispel the loneliness we would suffer when we come to see our utter dependence on Him and our depravity without him. This is Divine love. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” says the prophet Jeremiah.
Once could say that the sacrifice of Christ continues in both these sacraments in a very real way. Hence the whole Catholic concept of reparation is so clear and necessary – a calling to all Christians –to you and I – to see the depth of Christ’s love and his willingness to endure all so as to be near us precisely in the Eucharist and the priesthood, to walk with us through our own pains and struggles. It is a calling to respond with love freely embracing suffering in our own lives out of love for Him, to be more aware like never before of his closeness to us.