Eucharist: Perennial Christmas of Jesus

Reflection of Salvatore Martinez, of Renewal in the Spirit

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- For the Italian national coordinator of the movement Renewal in the Spirit, Christmas has a Eucharistic significance.



The same Christ made flesh in Bethlehem continues to be make flesh in the sacrament of the Real Presence, says Salvatore Martinez.

A member of the group that stems from the Charismatic Renewal, Martinez shared with ZENIT a meditation of sorts on Christmas and the Eucharist.

"In this year especially dedicated to the Eucharist, the nativity of Jesus presents itself before our conscience with the same prophetic force of the historical event of Bethlehem," he said.

"The song of adoration of the angels unites our words of jubilation; our bended knee before Christ in the Eucharist continues in time the gesture of the shepherds and the magi prostrated before the historical Christ," Martinez said.

Citing Pope Pius XII, he said: "It must be affirmed that there is no confusion between the historical Christ and the Christ present in the Sacrament of the altar. In the worship of the Eucharist the faithful witness to faith in the Church by which it believes that the Word of God and the Son of Mary is one and the same, and is present and hidden in the Eucharist."

"Christ, who at Christmas was made flesh, continues to be flesh in the Eucharist. Each nativity of Jesus, in a profound way, re-established the foundations of the Eucharist, of the living body of Christ, which doesn't know the mortal corruption of the flesh," he said. "It is a mystery of presence without end."

The nativity of Christ, added Martinez, "reminds us that the affection, tenderness, devotion, protection, mercy, solidarity and justice of God is manifested amid people. Everything speaks of his love.

"Jesus teaches us to be 'flesh of my flesh,' that is to say, to transmit his human-divine sensitivity, to be capable of compassion for the moral, spiritual and material sufferings of our time. How much tenderness there is in the Son of God, that it can be experienced by all in the real Eucharistic presence."

Martinez added: "Nobody is excluded from the birth of God, amid people, if we do not cease to adore and make prophetic the mystery of his presence in history."