In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would show me pity, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. (Psalm 68:20).
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Can a poor man show mercy to a rich man? Can a sick man show mercy to his physician? Can a blind man show mercy to one who sees? Can a thirsty man show mercy to the one who gives him to drink? Can a hungry man show mercy to the one who feeds him? Can a naked man show mercy to the one who clothes him? Can a weak man show mercy to one who is strong? Can a foolish man show mercy to one who is wise?
Christ Jesus in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Christ Jesus, King of the universe and off all that it holds, Christ Jesus, the Divine Physician of souls and bodies, Christ Jesus, the light of the world and the giver of sight to the blind, Christ Jesus, the source of living water, Christ Jesus, the living Bread come down from heaven, Christ Jesus, the glorious raiment of the saints, Christ Jesus, in whom is all the power and the wisdom of God has hidden himself beneath the fragile veil of the Host.
He appears among us and gives Himself to us under the appearance of that little piece of bread, something pathetically unimpressive and ordinary, something so diaphanous and frail that it can be carried away on a gust of wind, or fall to the ground unnoticed.
The Sacred Host is God in a terrible nakedness, the nakedness of Calvary. It is God made powerless and defenseless, God made vulnerable, God reduced to utter poverty, God abandoned into the hands of men. It is the Word vowed to perpetual silence, the Countenance of Uncreated Beauty hidden from the gaze of men. It is God humbled into the lowest lowliness of all.
The Sacred Host is God seeking the hospitality of men; God meeting with rejection, indifference, and cold refusals; God in the hands of the faithless, the unknowing; God descending into hearts defiled by sin; God refused reverence and denied the adoration that is His due; God asking for a little mercy and meeting instead with no pity.
Is it possible that God should ask for a little mercy on the part of man? Where are the souls moved to pity by the hidden God? Is there a greater poverty than that of the Host? A more touching vulnerability? A more delicate frailty? Why has God chosen to hide Himself in this way if not to give man the ineffable possibility of showing mercy to God?
Here, even the poorest of the poor can give something to God. Here, even the sick man can console the Physician. Here, even the blind man can offer a little light to the Sun. Here, even the parched man can quench the thirst of the Wellspring. Here, even the starving man can feed the Bread of Life with the food of love. Here, even the naked man can cover the Creator of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Here, even the weakest child can protect the Mighty God. Here even the fool can converse with Wisdom.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).