“By His Wounds, You Have Been Healed”
1 Peter, 2:24
What we believe, as Christians, is formed by what has happened on this solemn night of Good Friday. Everything Jesus taught, all that he did, would have been for naught had He not truly been the Son of God and had he not had the power to defeat the devil by dying on the cross. Yes, this horrid act was our Lord’s greatest triumph. Through His passion He struck down death and we received access to Eternal Life.
Though His sacrifice brought us salvation, it also brought Him from this world to heaven with his Father, and so for us, the majesty of our Lord is taken away, hidden once again from our eyes. However, God in His wisdom, knows his creation and knows we need the Lord forever in our presence, which is why Jesus’ final act on earth was to celebrate the first Mass with his disciples. This Mass was passed on through tradition and word from generation to generation so that all of God’s children be in the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This act of faith, believing that God is truly present in the Holy Mass, is simply that, an act of faith. It cannot be proven by worldly means, it cannot be explained by material objects, it cannot be argued by reason alone, but yet, it can be believed. It is not easy, this faith of ours, to be put into words, and so we look to perhaps the greatest Theologian who ever lived, St. Thomas Aquinas. In his beautiful hymm Adoro te Devote (translated below from the original Latin), Aquinas brings our faith forward and praises our Lord, present for us in the Holy Eucharist.
God with Hidden Majesty
St. Thomas Aquinas
I with deep devotion my true God revere:
Whom this outward shape and form secretly contains,
Christ in his divinity manhood still retains.
All my other senses, cannot now perceive,
But my hearing, taught by faith, always will believe:
I accept whatever God the Son has said:
Those who hear the word of God, by the truth are fed.
God lay stretched upon the cross, only man could die.
Here upon the altar God and man both lie;
This I firmly hold as true, this is my belief,
And I seek salvation, like the dying thief.
Wounds that doubting Thomas saw I could never see,
But I still acknowledge you my true God to be;
Grant that I shall always keep strong in faith and trust,
Guided by my Saviour, merciful and just.
Blest reminder of the death suffered for the world,
Sacrament of living bread, health to every mind,
Let my soul approach you, live within your grace,
Let me taste the perfect joys time shall not efface.