RIGHT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #32
My dear friends in Christ,
Today we honor and worship the "Lord's Body, broken and given for the salvation of all men, as food to sustain our life in the Spirit." The Eucharist is the eternal assurance of His presence among us. The celebration of this solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ was introduced into the Church calendar in 1264. Why do we need a feast of the Eucharist when every Sunday we celebrate the Eucharist? A feast like this provides us the opportunity to give God collective thanks for Christ’s abiding presence which is made visible in the Eucharist. We are called today to reflect on the ultimate meaning and depth of what we are doing on every Sunday. It is also an opportunity for us to seek a better understanding of the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ and to order our attitude to it accordingly, since the Eucharist is the sacrament of life.
In the second
reading we heard the
institution narrative according to
episode that follows the
miracle of feeding five thousand men, the Jews had gathered to ask
more bread. Jesus promised to give them His Body and Blood instead. But
their worldly frame of mind they could not understand or appreciate the
His Body. They disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man
his flesh to eat?” (v. 52). Jesus reaffirmed that “My flesh is
and my blood is true drink” (v. 55). They ended up distancing
from the Eucharist because Jesus’ language made no sense to people in a
materialistic frame of mind. If we approach the Eucharist with such a
materialistic mentality we too fail to understand and so lose the
such a wonderful gift of God’s love. The Eucharist is true food and
at the same time it is very different from every other food and drink.
great difference lies in these words of Christ which
Why then do many of us who receive the Eucharist not experience more of this radical transformation? It is because we think of the Eucharist limiting it to either of the above mentioned aspects; that is, at times we believe and celebrate the Eucharist with no relation of it to our lives. The Eucharist is the celebration of faith; it stimulates and strengthens faith. Our relationship with God is dynamic: it takes great courage and great faith to say: "Here is the Lord." Whenever we come to receive the Lord along the isle of the Church are we conscious fully that here there is Lord really present? If I look at myself, I am always small, imperfect, sinful, full of limitations. Yet in spite of all such fragileness, God loves me, as he loves each and everyone of us. The Eucharist is not credible if it remains a ritual, the memory of an event happened two thousand years ago. Instead, the Eucharist is a "school of life", a proposal of love that involves all my life to make myself available to love others, to give my life for others in accordance with the example that Jesus left us. Jesus won life for us, losing it. It His Way. We who receive the same Jesus in the Eucharistic bread are called to walk in the same path. When you go out of this Church doors remember that you are not alone. You have become another Christ. In your smile, words and deeds others will be able to see the Lord. You are His messenger of love and the sacrament of grace.