Psalm 116

I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called. I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread. Then I called on the name of the Lord, “O Lord, save my life!” Gracious is the Lord and just; yes, our God is merciful. The Lord protects the simple; I was helpless, but God saved me. Return, my soul, to your rest; the Lord has been good to you. For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!” I said in my alarm, “no one can be trusted!” How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Too costly in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful. Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds. I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

This is a photograph of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, located in the adoration chapel of Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church of Northglenn, Colorado. The Blessed Sacrament is filled with consolation and peace. Being in front of Jesus in this most Holy Presence refreshes my soul and my mind and my heart. It’s a place to pray and meditate. It’s a place to truly adore and love our God.

In the Catholic faith, we believe Jesus to be physically present in His Holy Eucharist. This belief can be explained from Scripture:

Matthew 26:26-28 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 22:19-20 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

John 6:54-58 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

The bolded words highlight the presence of God in this Blessed Sacrament. The underlined, bolded words truly proclaim His presence. “I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” When we are in His physical presence we truly are walking before Him in this land of our living! He is there, truly. It is inexplicable joy to be in front of Him. The “cup of salvation” is the cup of blood that we receive in the Eucharist. The Blood is present in the Host, just as in His cup. In the Mass, the priest raises this cup and the Host during consecration. These are the priest’s actual words of consecration, which come directly from Scripture, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you. Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.” In this psalm, we raise the cup and call upon the Lord, just as we do the Eucharist. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, which we offer in every Mass. We pay our vows, asking forgiveness for our sins, to the entire congregation, as stated in the Mass, “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.” And then the priest says, “May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.” The “maidservant” who “have loosed my bonds” is our blessed Mother, as she is our intercessor, who prays for us as her children. She is our heavenly mother and called herself the handmaid of the Lord in Luke 1:38, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” Jesus gave us His mother, while dying on the Cross; We know this from John 19:26-27, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” Notice in my photograph, the image of Mary to the left of Jesus and Saint John to His right.

Originally posted at Catholic Expressions.