An Encounter with Christ in the Eucharist

Jesus Teacher of Love
by Steven A Cortright

God offers no school of love except that we find by "becoming-in-Christ"
Dr. Steven Cortright
from a lecture
on Deus Caritas Est

God offers no school of love except that we find by "becoming-in-Christ"; our becoming-in-Christ finds inception each time our being-in-Christ, our abiding in love, is renewed by Love Himself: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, Person and Action.

. . . speaking only what Christ Himself has heard eternally from the Father - the Church's ministers intone: Take this, all of you, and eat it . . . Take this, all of you, and drink from it . . . Take life: take heart, mind and strength to love as He loves, from this encounter with the Word of life. For the whole Event-In-Person - the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ our Passover - is present in the Sacrament of the altar.[i]

Take this: This, we know, is Christ, present in the Body and Blood, present Soul and Divinity:

Christ in the Body:
betrayed, arrested, deserted and denied by Peter, by us, by His friends,
falsely accused, falsely condemned,
mocked, tortured,
murdered before His mother;

Christ in the Blood:
spilling from His beaten back and
His punctured brow,
defiled by the spittle of contemptuous Roman soldiers;
blood spattered in the praetorium,
at the feet of Pilate,
on the streets of Jerusalem;
blood running from His hands and feet
down the very emblem of fallen humanity's
unholy genius for torment;
blood mingling, finally, with water on the shaft of a
blood soaking a makeshift linen shroud.

Take, eat: This is Christ present in the Body and the Blood, present Soul and Divinity:

Christ in human nature:
in tears before the tomb of Lazarus,
in wrath at the Court of the Temple,
in mourning for Jerusalem,
in wonder at a soldier's faith;

Christ divine:
consoling Mary Magdalen in the Garden,
offering his hands and side to Thomas' nervous
expounding Scripture to bewildered, grief-stricken
disciples on the road to Emmaus,
revealing Himself in the breaking of bread;

Christ bestowing the Charism of the Keys,
promising the Paraclete,
gently educing from Peter three-fold reparation
for his three-fold denial;

Christ ascending to His Father: our Advocate, our
Brother, Our Lord and our God.

Take, eat, this is Encounter, this is Event:

this is Christ in His Passion and in His Glory, in His death and in His resurrection:
Christ the Suffering Servant
and Christ the Lord of All-
Christ, the very Love by which we take Him for our Beloved.

[ii] Cf. Ecclesiae de eucharistia, loc. cit.

Inspired by Deus Caritas Est

In the spring of 2006, Catholics for the Common Good advisor Dr. Steven Cortright presented a three-part workshop on the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est for its members in Oakland, Calif.

At the conclusion of the first lecture on the introduction of the encyclical, Dr. Cortright broke into a powerful and prayerful reflection. The cadence changed to a spellbinding poetic rhythm that overwhelmed the audience with the power of Christ's love.

We hope that this will touch the hearts of our visitors as much as it did for the people participating that night.

We are very grateful to Dr. Cortright.

Copyright © 2004–2012 Catholics for the Common Good®
Permission granted for use of content with attribution to