All it Takes is a “Yes”
Majesty. Wonder. Love. We’ve all glimpsed these feelings, but can only catch shadows of these feelings’ profundity without Jesus. These concepts’ perfect form lies in Jesus alone and can be found in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The magnificence of the True Presence is difficult to fathom. It’s a profound mystery and one that I, and many Catholics and non-Catholics, have struggled to fully understand. Born a cradle Catholic, I knew when to rise and sit in Mass. I knew the proper responses, just about every hymn in the worship hymnal and could recite the Nicene Creed by heart. I knew that when the host was elevated, I knelt before it. For years, I received the Body and Precious Blood with little-to- no internal reverence. I would outwardly bow and monotonously respond “Amen” when prompted, but I lacked a true encounter with Jesus in those regular Sunday experiences. I knew Jesus loved me, and I loved Him fervently through prayer, but I only knew Him from a distance.
This all changed at my very first overnight camp: Catholic Youth Summer Camp. Brimming and overflowing with the Spirit, the Lord’s presence was ablaze within thousands of youth’s hearts. Our week’s theme happened to be “Death into Life,” and it bore a heavy emphasis on the Eucharist. My little middle school heart loved the Lord, but I had never experienced such intensity in Adoration before.
Yet that night I felt a yearning in the depths of my heart as I listened to the most engaging Eucharistic talks I’d ever heard. The missionaries’ passion was intensely desirable, and they said I could find that joy in the Eucharist. So, trusting in God, I opened my heart to the possibility of the True Presence’s reality, asking the Lord to shower me in grace to understand even the slightest sliver of its mystery.
As I was praying, I gazed at the crucifix, and received an image of Jesus’ Precious Blood dripping from the cross and being collected in a chalice. Overwhelmed, I flung open the doors of my heart to let the Lord work in me as He chose. Entering Adoration, I was stunned by the number of people overcome with happiness as each came face-to-face with the Monstrance. Teenagers and young adults alike were laughing with the purest joy, crying, reaching their arms toward the Eucharist. As the Monstrance was carried towards me, my doubts were shattered. My soul filled with the most undeniable, immeasurable longing. I hungered for the Lord upon whom I found myself gazing. In the split second that my gaze met Christ’s for the first time in true understanding, I was overwhelmed with the most intense amount of love ever experienced. In that moment, Jesus became real and tangible to me. He was no longer a biblical storybook character living on the page and in my theology tests. I was shaken by the sudden understanding that the Eucharist is not just a symbol—It is Majesty Himself.
Years after this breakthrough, I still struggle to understand the fullness of the Eucharistic mystery. But God gave me this experience of wonder so that through this physical reality, I may love Him more deeply and develop a personal relationship with Him like never before. I could have remained skeptical, criticizing the scientific impossibilities contained within the mystery. Instead of asking how could He, or why did He, I’ve learned to offer up my “Yes” like our mother Mary. I don’t fully understand, but I believe. All it takes is a yes.
The Blessed Sacrament is the source and summit of Christian life. No other gift can bring us closer to our Lord than through physically coming face-to-face with Him and receiving Him tangibly into our hearts in the form of the Eucharist. He desires intimacy with His beloved creation. He yearns for a relationship with you. Only through opening the doors to our hearts can God move within us so that we may encounter Jesus in the Eucharist and experience His radical love. So, I ask you to open your heart to our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. He will change your life if you let Him.
This article appeared in the March 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.