How do you encounter God? For Christians, the fullest encounter with God possible is to be found in their Eucharistic worship, participating in Word and Sacrament. The Second Vatican Council spoke of this encounter with God through Christ's presence in multiple modes, above all in the sacrifice of the Mass, the proclamation of the word, the celebration of the sacraments, and communal praise. All of these are the fullest actualization of encounter with God, and so have a normative, privileged place in Christian discipleship. Yet we often take these realities for granted, making us poorly disposed to receiving the life of grace offered through them. This time of quarantine is the perfect time to let "absence make the heart grow fonder": first, by cultivating a deep contemplative time through prayer and study of the Scripture and Tradition of the Church; second, by cultivating a consciousness of all reality as "sacramental," mediating Christ's presence to us constantly, and of ourselves as mediating Christ's presence to others by sharing in the Holy Spirit. With greater cultivation of our spiritual appetites, our encounter with God in Word and Sacrament will be that much more powerful, and we are able to bring that encounter into the lives of others, stimulating their appetites for more in the communion of the Church.
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on April 26, 2020, Third Sunday of Easter