Josemaría Escrivá Obras
113

You have just listened to the solemn reading of the two texts of Holy Scripture which correspond to the Mass of the 21st Sunday after Pentecost. Having heard the Word of God you are already in the atmosphere in which I wish to situate the words I now address to you. They are intended to be supernatural, proclaiming the greatness of God and His mercies towards men. Words to prepare you for the wonder of the Eucharist, which we celebrate today on the campus of the University of Navarra.

Think for a moment about what I have just said. We are celebrating the holy Eucharist, the sacramental Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of our Lord, that Mystery of Faith which links all the mysteries of Christianity. We are celebrating, therefore, the most sacred and transcendent act which man, with the grace of God, can carry out in this life. To communicate with the Body and Blood of our Lord is, in a certain sense, like loosening the bonds of earth and time, in order to be already with God in heaven, where Christ Himself will wipe the tears from our eyes and where there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor cries of distress, because the old world will have passed away (cf Apoc 21:4).

This profound and consoling truth, which theologians call the eschatological significance of the Eucharist could, however, be misunderstood. And indeed it has been, whenever men have tried to present the Christian way of life as something exclusively 'spiritual', proper to pure, extraordinary people, who remain aloof from the contemptible things of this world or at most, tolerate them as something necessarily attached to the spirit, while we live on this earth.

When things are seen in this way, churches become the setting par excellence of the Christian life. And being a Christian means going to church, taking part in sacred ceremonies, being taken up with ecclesiastical matters, in a kind of segregated world, which is considered to be the ante-chamber of heaven, while the ordinary world follows its own separate path. The doctrine of Christianity and the life of grace would, in this case, brush past the turbulent march of human history, without ever really meeting it.

On this October morning, as we prepare to enter upon the memorial of our Lord's Pasch, we flatly reject this deformed vision of Christianity. Reflect for a moment on the setting of our Eucharist, of our act of thanksgiving. We find ourselves in a unique temple. We might say that the nave is the university campus; the altarpiece, the university library. Over there, the machinery for constructing new buildings; above us, the sky of Navarra . . .

Surely this confirms in your minds, in a tangible and unforgettable way, the fact that everyday life is the true setting for your lives as Christians. Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with Christ. It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind.

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