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Undeniable True Presence

I’m always amazed at the immense faith and trust Saints Peter and Andrew (whose Feast Day we celebrate today) show in today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 4, verses 18-22.

Even while being amazed, the cautious, likes-to-have-a-plan, worrier in me wants to scream at them. “What are you doing?! You don’t even know who this man is! He just spouted off something about you ‘fishing for men’ (Matthew 4:19) and you’re going to leave behind your livelihood, everything you’ve ever known, and just follow this stranger?!” Yes, we readers know who Jesus was, but these two had no clue. It would seem there was just something about being in His presence that made them throw caution to the wind.

And only when I begin to meditate on the Blessed Sacrament does this story start to make sense in my heart.

The belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist can easily be seen by others as odd or even crazy. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to explain transubstantiation, but I imagine to some it sounds about as clear as the idea of “fishing for men.” It’s a reality that is hard to comprehend until you’ve experienced it firsthand, and then, just as it was for Andrew and Peter on that historic day on the Sea of Galilee, there is no turning back.

How could they refuse to follow after meeting Jesus? How could they do anything but place their trust in Him after hearing His voice? They did not have the answers and their lives would not be free from hardship, but their knowledge and relationship with Christ was worth sacrificing for.

I have been struggling in my faith since the scandals broke this summer. It has not been easy remaining faithful to the Church with all of the abuse, cover-up, and divisiveness that has been revealed. But even in the painful humanity of the Church, in the face of uncertainty, and in the fear of the unknown, I cannot deny my belief and experience of Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament. And so with that knowledge I pray for the faith and trust of Saints Andrew and Peter to “at once” follow where Christ leads.

I pray for the faith and trust of Saints Andrew and Peter to “at once” follow where Christ leads. Click To Tweet

Make Adoration visits a regular part of your week along with receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Mass. Visit the confessional and get that clean slate. Jesus is waiting for you, sister.

Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is mildly obsessed with all things Ignatian and is very passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She recently earned her Master of Divinity and now serves as the Director of Christian Service at a high school in New England. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, travel, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Stephanie McCutcheon
    November 30, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Hang in there, Sarah! For millenia, there have been scandals and heresies that have rocked the Barque of St. Peter. But, Our Lord promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it…and God can never be wrong. Let us pray that we Catholics today, no matter what happens, have the same stouthearted faith that Sts. Andrew, Peter, James and John had 2, 000 years ago. For the greater glory of God!

  • Reply
    Maggie Velek
    November 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Thanks Sarah for saying that out loud. I too have been struggling since the summer. Waiting for a purging of the Catholic church. I said to myself that I would keep the scriptures close to my heart, I don’t need the church. But I felt so lost without the Eucharist. I’m happy to say I have found my way back. I’m still wary but God will guide me.

    • Reply
      Candace
      December 1, 2018 at 1:12 am

      I’m so glad you came back!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Emmons
    November 30, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Really beautiful, Sarah. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

  • Reply
    Ana Quintana
    November 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Sarah. Our belief is in God not mere men or buildings. We must follow up with teachings of Christ placing our faith in Him knowing that He will lead us down the right path. Mankind will always disappoint us but He will not.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth T
    November 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Something that the deacon pointed out in mass today in his homily was something I hadn’t realized before. St. Andrew did not just drop everything and follow Christ. This story happens to be the second encounter not the first that st. Andrew had. Another account is in John when he was still a disciple of John the Baptist. So he didn’t drop everything right away in fact he thought about it for a little while. It’s encouraging to know God will continue to call but I’m sure St Andrew would say drop everything the first time. Just a thought that helped me!

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