‘ In our day we have no ruler, or prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, no place to make an offering before you and to find mercy’ ( Dan 3:38).
Yet, from whichever place we are, we shall bend our knees before Jesus Christ . Jesus gave us his body that was pierced for us and his blood that was shed for our sins by instituting the Blessed Sacrament so that we may get nourished by the bread of life and the chalice of salvation in Holy Communion. But many of us are not able to receive this great gift in Holy Communion though they long for it. We should bring all of them to the presence of our Lord in our prayers.
When we had rulers, prophets, leaders and burnt offerings, we never realized their value. When we had our churches to celebrate Holy Mass and His tabernacle to find mercy, we never thought of a day when its doors would be closed. We need to pray in reparation for it also.
Two thousand years have passed since the Son of Man instructed us to do this in remembrance of him. We have been living in that perennial remembrance all these times. But something parallel also was happening throughout. It was the incessant attack of the enemy to take away the memories of Christ’s sacrifice from our collective conscience. It may appear that he has won for the time being. He might be able to close the doors of churches and to stop Holy Masses. But remember one thing. Final victory is our Lord’s and our Lord’s alone.
Continual prayer is the only antidote to an incessant attack from our enemy. This is the time to raise our hands to heaven for reopening to churches and for restarting the daily offerings. But before that we should introspect. Why did all these happen? The prayer given at the beginning is of three young men who did such an introspection centuries ago. This introspection led them to understand what went wrong with them.
‘ For we have sinned and broken your law in turning away from you; in all matters we have sinned grievously, We have not obeyed your commandments, we have not kept them or done what you have commanded us for our own good. So all that you have brought upon us, and all that you have done to us, you have done by a true judgement, You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels, and to an unjust king, the most wicked in al the world’
It was a prayer done by three saints, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael confessing the sins of their people who, in their iniquities, strayed away from God. As we know, these three young saints escaped unscathed from the furnace. Equally important is that Nebuchadnezzar, whom they described as an unjust and most wicked king, ended up praising the True God.
Remember, it was the prayer of a few saints on behalf of their own people who were sinners. Even today, there are saints praying for us, sinners. They live among us, but often we do not recognise them. May our prayers, the supplications of an unworthy people, also rise to heaven alongwith their prayers. Our Lord will open the doors of those places where to offer our sacrifices and find His mercy.
Jesus Christ, who after the last supper, entered his passion and endured the unparalleled agony of crucifixion and who finally came out victorious from the tomb to ascend into heaven said; “ Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (Jn 6:51).
Receiving this bread spiritually , let us praise him. Let us adore Jesus, our Lord and our God who in Holy Communion became the food of our souls.