By Tom Quiner
“A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.”
This is the description of a sacrament from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I had a brush with three of them this weekend, which means I encountered Christ on each occasion.
I experienced the Sacrament of Reconciliation yesterday. Today, I received Holy Communion, after renewing my Baptismal vows at the Baptism that took place at the Mass.
Reconciliation. Holy Eucharist. Baptism.
I have to always stop and let it sink in. In these beautiful Sacraments (and there are four others), Christ is not present symbolically, He is present with us in a way beyond the reach of our senses, but within the reach of our eternal soul.
He is really with us.
His love, His forgiveness, His strength, His compassion, His eternity surrounds us and fills us. At the Sacrament of Reconciliation, his Divine Mercy lifts us and embraces us with the sweet message that He loves us beyond our ability to comprehend.
Satan despises the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He whispers in our ears that we’re no good, and never will be any good. But at Reconciliation, Christ takes us in His arms and squeezes His love into us in a way that conveys that nothing in the world is more precious in the world to Him than us. He tells us that if we were the only person that had ever been born, He would still die for us so we could live.
Christ is present to each of us in many ways. The gift of His Sacraments allows us an opportunity for particularly thrilling encounters with the Living Christ.