A few years ago in college seminary, one of my classmates introduced me to the song "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe. I'm not a big fan of "praise and worship" music, but this song in particular helped me to appreciate more deeply one of the most stunning, yet often overlooked, realities of our lives as Catholics: Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.
This song is a reflection on what it will be like to enter the heavenly presence of God after a life of serving him here on this earth. The awe, the excitement, the humble gratitude for Christ's redemptive sacrifice on the cross, the overflowing joy...What a glorious day that will be.
But the lyrics should lead us to reflect on what our sentiments are every time we come before Our Lord in the Eucharist. Though veiled behind the species of Bread and Wine, Jesus Christ is truly present there before with all of his Divinity, just as in Heaven. Are we flooded with wonderment, reverence, love, joy, excitement? We don't really have to wonder what it will be like to enter the presence of God at the end of our lives, because we have that experience every time we come before him in the Tabernacle. This period of Lent can be a great time to grow closer of Our Lord in the Scripture and in the Eucharist. He's has given us the chance to experience here on earth what it is to enter his presence.
The real questions before is whether that encounter with Him after our death will be one of long-time friend whom we saw often, or rather that of a long-lost acquaintance we hardly knew. Let's get to know him now.
Go visit him and see for yourself what it will be like to come before your Lord...