The Embrace of Christ
I have found it very helpful to prayerfully imagine Jesus giving me a big hug. This may sound a little sentimental, but do we not see Jesus doing similar things in the Gospel. Jesus does not refrain from touching and healing those who (because of discrimination) sat on the edges of society. He stoops down to wash the feet of the disciples (cf. Jn 13). Last, but not least, Jesus embraces the small child and places him in the midst of the disciples saying “If anyone receives one such child in my name, he receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mk 9:36-37).
The truth is that Jesus constantly shows us the tremendous love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit which is beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine. Christ loved us even before the world began. Do we not celebrate this humble love of God in a special way at Christmas? Jesus identifies Himself with the child and makes Himself totally dependent upon the human love of Mary and Joseph.
Whenever we receive the Eucharist we encounter Christ sacramentally present, body, blood, soul and Divinity. By “embracing” Him and offering our lives with Him to the Father, we grow in love of God and of neighbor. Jesus’ own love – the love which is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us (cf. Rom 5:5) – expands and comforts our hearts. Imagine Jesus giving you a big hug when you receive the Eucharist.