It's hard to keep track of things in our post-modern, post-Christian world. First, there are far too many things to track. And second, the sheer speed at which they fly by us makes them mostly untrackable. Nevertheless, most of us still try. Perhaps it's because we're like dogs who bark at every car that passes or can't help but run after every squirrel. It's easy to lose our bearings.
The world we've created is one that is always moving. We move up, move in, move forward, and move on. We are a restless, anxious, and hungry people. And while our civilizations have never been more advanced, our souls have reverted to hunting and gathering the scraps they can find as they wander.
If we stop taking the bait and stand still long enough to let all the crazy whizz by, however, it is possible to focus our attention -- and our lives -- on the things that stay put. There aren't many of those; frankly, there never were. But when everything else is spinning, drifting, or otherwise in flux, there are a few things that don't move along with the music. When we find them, and see where we are with respect to them, we will never be lost.
The world and our life in it is more than what humankind has created or destroyed. That's because the Creator made it for us, but not about us. All that is, is about him. That extends even to our own existence. We were made by him and for him; we are his, whether we believe in him or not; whether we like it or not.
The beautiful thing about the body of Christ (and there are countless beautiful things!) is that his presence is hidden everywhere. No matter where we go, or what road we take, Jesus is there. His risen body, his flesh and blood, is with us in every tabernacle, at every Mass, in every disciple. He does not change. He does not move. Rather, he remains with us to change us, and to move us along the path to eternal life.
It's all about Jesus. All human history and all human destiny centers on him. His body is the new "tent of meeting," the place in which God lives not just above, but among his people. We can run as far as our legs and wills can take us from him, but he will be there nonetheless. His arms are open to us regardless. He is always ready to embrace.
And that is what our parishes must be: the body of Christ with open arms; his abiding presence in the world. We must be Jesus, always and everywhere. And to stand in the world as the body of Christ, we must constantly renew our connection to that body through the sacraments. We must be still, while everything whirls around us. We must make Jesus the fulcrum of the decisions we make. He must be both our inspiration and our aspiration. We must build our lives on his life in us. We must choose to place him at the center of all we do, but also of all we are.
The world will never find Jesus if those who belong to Christ keep him on the periphery of our lives. Even worse, we ourselves will risk losing sight of him. There is no substitute for God. When life isn't about Jesus, it is about something or someone else -- and that is always something or someone less. Eucharistic adoration can help us. Do you know where to find Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament? I hope so. And I also hope that when you lose yourself in this whizzing, whilrling world, you run straight to him in the Holy Eucharist. Stop. Breathe. Bow down in worship. Open your heart to him. For when your life is centered on him, everything else falls into its proper place.