The Counter-Reformation revived a late-Medieval tendency to adore the Lord Jesus Christ in the Reserved Host of the Altar. Anglo-Catholics of a certain stripe tend towards such devotions also. Prayer Book Anglicans tend to consider such practices as being beside the point. They are beside the point because Prayer Book Anglicans follow Archbishop Cranmer in his emphasis on the real meaning of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper is given to us so that we might come into Communion with God the Father, through Jesus the Son, and by the motions of the Holy Spirit. What is most important here is that we might be transubstantiated by God from sinners into saints. Archbishop Cranmer believed that we ought to focus on receiving Jesus Christ in our hearts and souls so that He might begin, continue, and end the good work of His Redemption in us. This business of surrendering to the Lord Jesus within is not easy. It takes time. We must eschew old bad habits or vices and acquire new good habits or virtues. Our focus must be on the sanctification of our souls through thoughtful and meditative surrender to the Lord within. Adoration is beside the point because it distracts us and keeps God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on the outside of us and at a safe distance. Oh sinner, Jesus says, I am my Father long to come to you and to make our abode within you. (St. John xiv. 23) We are called to let Jesus in! We are called to focus on the inward and spiritual transformation that Jesus longs to bring about in us through the Holy Spirit. Let us let Jesus in that He might crucify us to the world, the flesh, and the devil! Let us let Jesus in that He might resurrect us into new life and holy virtue that leads us to God’s Kingdom! Let us prepare for His coming in to make His abode in us. Let us receive Him in the Holy Communion. Let us go out into the world with Him alive in us, alive in our thoughts, words, and works. Let us then thankfully sharing Him with all whom we encounter.
St. Michael and All Angels Sermons: