My Lord and my God.
Recently, I’ve grown accustomed to genuflecting before the altar and reciting this phrase as I make the sign of the cross.
Not a half-genuflection either. You know the ones you make so that you could hurry up and sit. I’ve learned to make a full genuflection, with my right knee touching the ground, allowing me to assume a position of reverence. When I do this, I don’t feel rushed to sit down. Instead, I can take my time to adore the Real Presence inside the tabernacle.
So why should we go to greater lengths just to adore Jesus? Certainly a mere genuflection won’t make a difference. But it does.
The greatest danger to faith is lukewarmness. Sometimes, we take our beliefs for granted and our actions lose meaning. Why do we genuflect anyways?
Any good Catholic who completed their sacrament preparation and catechism classes can provide a textbook response. We genuflect to acknowledge the Real Presence at the altar and to honor the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ embodied by the Blessed Sacrament. After reading a thread on Catholic Answers forum, I’ve discovered another reason.
To make a long story short, the thread’s writer expounds on how an old man he was taking care of, Andre, shook his head after the former gave the textbook response concerning genuflection. “You still haven’t got it,” the old man replied. So, the writer gave up and asked him what the real reason was. Andre then said this:
“They taught me that when I genuflect before the (Blessed Sacrament in the) tabernacle, I am making reparation to Jesus for the cruel mockery — for the genuflections of the Roman soldiers before Him as they crowned Him with thorns, beat Him, and spat upon Him.”
Wow, right? After I read that, genuflection was given a whole new meaning. A simple action like the bend of a knee can have such an impact. Our Catholic faith is a physical one. We’re not called to be spectators in life. We’re called to holiness through active expressions of our beliefs.
Let a regular movement like a genuflection become an extension of your prayer life. Strive to make up for how Jesus was mistreated during his Passion. Maybe then, we can fully appreciate his sacrifice.
"That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11)