I had forgotten that I was wearing my red Catholic t-shirt. As I pushed the cart down the cereal aisle, an older man passed me on my right and asked, “So, why are you Catholic?” My hand locked on a box of cherry poptarts, and I looked up.
The man was smiling, like he’d caught me in some kind of a trap. He seemed satisfied with himself. I wouldn't have been surprise to hear him say "Bah-humbug" next. I realized that he was referring to the white-lettered imperative sentences on the back of my red t-shirt. Ask me why I’m Catholic.
Before he had a chance to escape, I matched his question with one of my own.
“That depends. Do you want the two second answer, the two minute answer, or the two hour answer?”
He waived his hand in a gesture that was meant to dismiss the whole thing. Obviously, he wasn’t really interested in knowing the answer to my question. He was just teasing me - or goading me.
I decided to give him the two-second answer. It is, after all, the best answer there is for being Catholic. And he didn't seem interested in hanging around for a lengthy reply.
It's why I'm Catholic. Period. If there were nothing else to this Catholic thing, the Eucharist would be enough.
Jesus comes to me. He loves me so dearly that He wants to come to me – and come within me. He wants to claim me in the most intimate way possible. He wants to change me from the inside out.
My Eucharistic Lord Jesus Christ. It doesn’t get better than that.
That is why I’m Catholic.
I want 2013 to be about sharing this Good News. The One who came to us 2000 years ago comes to us each time we seek Him in the Mass.
Catholics have Jesus. Literally. It is a reality they should not keep to themselves. If you are Catholic, and you haven’t told somebody about the Real Presence in the last thirty days, what in heaven’s name are you waiting for?
You have Christ, the Messiah, the Living Son of God, the Word Incarnate, the Holy One of Israel, Lion of Judah, Alpha and Omega, the Bright and Morning Star, the Way, the Lamb of God, the Creator and Redeemer, the King of Kings.
You have Christ.
You can walk up the steps of the Church, go inside, and kneel before the Tabernacle of God. If that little candle is lit, you know that He is really there. If you stick around long enough, you can pray the Mass with the Faithful – and Jesus can come inside of you!
If that reality no longer strikes you with profound wonder and awe, then ask for a greater portion of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Wonder & awe - because it’s Jesus. His Real Presence.
Now, go and tell somebody!