02 December 2006

MARANATHA...MANE NOBISCUM

Saturday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 21:34-36

We end the last day of the present liturgical year with the prayer: “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!” This prayer echoes the deepest prayer in Sacred Scriptures. It is a plea to God. It is a cry from the deepest recesses of the heart. It also implies an attempt to remind God of His ancient promise to send the Savior of the world.

As another liturgical year closes, we ask the Lord to come because the world still hungers for Him. So many people remain waiting for Him though He already came. In one way or another we failed to make His coming real to the world because our sins mock His presence in our midst. In what we failed, we pray that the Lord Jesus Himself would make His grace come and supply.

“Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!” – this is our prayer, our plea, our cry. But Jesus already came. He came and He continues to stay. Jesus is Emmanuel; He is “God-With-Us.” He also dwells in us and, therefore, present through us. We can be the answer to our own prayer. We can also be the answer to the cry of the waiting world. If we continue striving to love like Jesus, we can become the presence of Jesus.

Let us make our plea today before the Holy Eucharist. Let us keep repeating the words “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!” like a mantra before the Blessed Sacrament. I remember part of Pope John Paul II’s teaching in his final Apostolic Letter, “Mane Nobiscum, Domine” (“Stay With Us, Lord”): Christmas is “Jesus-coming-to-us” but the Eucharist is “Jesus-staying-with-us.” May we become like the Eucharist, too.

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