Jesus is reported to have said on one occasion that when we give a cup of water to a thirsty person, we give it to Him. When we visit a sick or imprisoned person, we visit Him. When we cry or rejoice with another person, we cry or rejoice with Him. In fact, whatever we do together we do with Him. Jesus Himself is present, really present, in our human encounters

The theologians use the word “incarnation” to express the historical event when God, in the person of Jesus, became a human being. But “incarnation” is not merely an historical event. It is a continuous, ever-present, event. We are capable of experiencing the human presence of Jesus, His “incarnation”, every time we recognise the dignity of another human being. Nevertheless, we can often miss this experience – After all we are sometimes not sufficiently insightful about human dignity. We are sometimes judgmental, unkind, unfair to each other. None of us is perfect. Hence, too often we miss His presence in human nature.

It is because of this lack of insight that Jesus gave us a special experience whereby we can actually encounter His real presence; even if we fail to encounter Him elsewhere. This special experience takes the form of a simple meal of bread and wine. These elements (ie bread and wine) are transformed when we repeat his words: “This is my body – This is my blood – do this in memory of me”. The simple elements are transformed into His real presence.

We call this experience “The Mass”, “The Blessed Eucharist”. It is an experience of His real presence and when we encounter this “Holy Communion” with Him our limitations in recognising Him elsewhere disappears. Today we celebrate his real presence in the “Blessed Eucharist.”