THE DESIRE OF JESUS CHRIST TO BE UNITED WITH US IN HOLY COMMUNION.
Oh, with what desire does Jesus Christ pant to come into our hearts in Holy Communion! With desire have I desired to eat this pasch with you before I suffer (Luke xxii. I5). “This is the voice of most ardent charity”-(St. Laurence Justinian).
Jesus knowing that his hour was come-(Jo . xiii. I}. This hour which Jesus called his hour, was the hour of that night on which He was to begin His Passion. But why did He call so dreadful an hour his hour? Because this was the hour for which He had sighed during His whole life; because He had resolved to bequeath to us in this hour the Holy Communion, by which He desired to become united with us whom He loved, and for whom He was soon to shed His Brood and lay down His life. Hear how He spoke that night to His disciples: With desire have I desired to eat this pasch with you: by which words He would signify His great wish and anxiety to unite Himself with us in the Holy Sacrament of love. With desire have I desired. “This,” says St. Laurence Justinian, “is the voice of most ardent charity.” Now, the same love which then burned in the Heart of Jesus burns there still: and He gives the same invitation now to all which He gave then to His disciples to receive Him: Take ye and eat, this is my body-(Matt. xxvi. 26}.
My adorable Jesus, Thou canst give no greater proof of love, to teach us how much Thou lovest us. Thou hast given Thy life for us: Thou hast bequeathed Thyself to us in the Holy Sacrament, that we may nourish ourselves. with Thy sacred Flesh, and Thou art most desirous that we should receive Thee. How can we be sensible of all these efforts of Thy love and not burn with love of Thee? Begone, all ye earthly affections from my heart; it is you who hinder me from burning with love for Jesus, as He burns with love for me. And what other pledges of Thy love can I expect, 0 my Redeemer, than those which Thou hast already given me? Thou hast sacrificed Thy whole life for the love of me; Thou hast embraced for my sake the most bitter and ignominious death; Thou hast reduced Thyself for me almost to annihilation by becoming my Food in the Holy Eucharist, in order to give me Thy whole Self. Ah, Lord, grant that I may never more live ungrateful for such great goodness.
To allure us to receive Him with affection and love, He promises Heaven to us: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever-(Jo. vi. 52). And if we refuse to receive Him He threatens us with death: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood you shall not have life in you-(Jo. vi. 54}. These invitations, promises, and threats, all arise from the desire of Jesus Christ to be united with us in the Holy Communion through His love for us. Our Lord said to St. Mechtilde that the bee does not take the honey with more eagerness of delight, than He enters the souls that desire Him. Jesus because He loves us, desires that we should love Him; and because He desires us He would have us desire Him: “God thirsts to be thirsted after,” says St. Gregory. Happy the soul that approaches the Holy Communion with a great desire of being united to Jesus Christ.
I thank Thee, O God, for having given me time to bewail my past offences against Thee, and to love Thee during the remainder of my days. I am sorry, O my sovereign Good, for having hitherto so much despised Thy love. I love Thee, O infinite Goodness, I love Thee, O infinite Treasure. I love Thee, O infinite Love, Who art worthy to be loved with an infinite love. Help me, O Jesus, to cast out from my heart all affections which tend not to Thee, that from this day forward, I may neither desire, nor seek, nor love any other but Thee. My beloved Lord, grant that I may ever find Thee, grant that I may ever love Thee. Take Thou possession of my whole will, in order that I may never desire anything but what is pleasing to Thee. My God, my God, whom shall I love if I love not Thee, Who art all goodness! O Mary, my Mother, take me under thy protection, and obtain for me the purest love for Jesus.