THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST
We’ve come to the last in our three-part series on Prayer, Sacred Scripture and the Sacraments. Reminded that the purpose of prayer is relationship with God, that the study of Sacred Scripture helps us to know God and His character, we now turn toward the Sacraments. We turn toward Sacred Tradition.
We know that one word can conjure up a whole lot of emotion and take us back to a certain place or time. Have you noticed that a specific fragrance can do the same? The word fragrance draws to mind pleasant feelings, particularly during this spring season while creation blossoms all around us. Maybe you’ve seen me alongside the road picking abandoned lilacs just to bury my nose in the memories I associate with their fragrance.
Scripture teaches that it is “through us, that the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ is spread everywhere”. (2 Corinthians 2:14) Like the fragrance of lilacs, and God’s blossoming creation, we are the aroma of Christ.
In the same way that God can invoke memories through a word or a fragrance, the Lord is always reaching down to us through the Sacraments. Just a couple weeks ago we heard the familiar Gospel story of the two down hearted disciples walking the road to Emmaus. All of us who endure the pain of being parted by death know the bitter hurt the disciples endured on their walk. We might also understand why they didn’t recognize Jesus as He journeyed alongside of them. Spoiler alert; the disciples only recognized Jesus when he sat with them at table and broke the Bread. (Luke 24:31) Perhaps the most heartwarming part of the Gospel is that once the disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, they were nourished and fortified to go out and be the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ and to spread that fragrance everywhere. It seems to me this was Eucharistic Adoration at its finest.
Imitating the disciples who recognized Jesus in the breaking of the Bread, may we adore and recognize Jesus in the Eucharistic Sacrament. Nourished, strengthened and in full cooperation with the graces of the Sacrament, we can then go out and be the fragrance. “How blessed are we to get to let the light of Christ shine out of us as Tabernacles of the Holy Spirit”. – Kaylene Brown. How blessed are we to hold out Christ to others.
Mother Teresa once said: “We are at His disposal. If He wants you to be sick in bed, if He wants you to proclaim His word in the Street, if He wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say: “I belong to you. You can do whatever You like.” This is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord.” Recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the Bread gave the disciples hope and courage. It is the same for us today. Through the graces of the Sacraments, we have the strength and the courage to be sick in bed, proclaim His word, or wash toilets all day if that is God’s perfect plan and purpose for us.
Please know that I’ll be keeping you in my prayers and that I look forward to seeing you around the Parish. Summer’s coming, slowly but surely, and we have much to do.