Today’s first reading reminds us that the Eucharist feeds us in the wilderness of the world as the Israelites were in the desert. Paul in the second reading says it unites us with and makes us the body of Christ. And Christ tells us that through it we’re already part of eternal life. Lets confess ways we fail to appreciate how vital for our faith, mass and communion is.
Since Renaissance Platonism and the Reformation, we’ve played up the soul and played down the body. By contrast, today’s feast stresses the united bodily and spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Its as real as someone entering our house. You know when some come into a room, there’s a buzz, we feel their charisma. It was like that with Christ. His great presence made people flock to him and hang on his words. You may say I wish I were there. But we are “there” every Sunday. He comes to us in communion in as real a way. The substance of the bread and wine is changed into his body and blood; it may look like bread and wine but its really his body and blood, soul and divinity.
This real presence follows from the incarnation. Its not like a person talking to you and yet miles away. Jesus in communion is intimately present to us, enabling faith, hope and charity to bloom, making us Christian to the core of our being, nurishing our souls like good eating does our bodies. This strengthens us for life’s journey, furthers our grow in God’s life, binds us to His body the church, and strengthens us to witness to him in the world. Finally it empowers us to defeat sin, suffering and death. We become what we eat, and what we eat here is living Lord.
But priceless blessings come to us also from visits to His sacramental presence in the church too. He is present for us at all times in the tabernacle. If you knew Jesus was visiting your area in the flesh you’d rush to meet him. But he’s in the church all the time. Benediction and exposition are great reminders of that fact, as is prayer in his sacramental presence. Visiting him brings strength for life’s struggles and deepens our prayer life.
All in all then we cant overemphasize how precious a gift of God the Eucharist is. Our wise forefathers knew this as they braved death at mass rocks. As Jesus was there for them, they were there for him. Lets continue to let this gift mould and transforms our lives in graceful living, bringing us ever closer to God, the church, and each other. So that when we see our Lord face to face we’ll wont be strangers. But don’t take my word for it. Christ himself says that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, which is real food and drink, we will not have life in us; and he goes onto to say: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day”.
Imagine that! Through communion we’re already growing in eternal life in this world, until we flower into eternal glory at last. We already anticipate eternal joy in mass and communion. To know that is wisdom. For this world passes to dust and ashes at last but Christ in communion is lord of life both for our deepest happiness here below and forever and ever in heaven, amen. So conscious that we are an infinitely blessed and glorious eucharistic people, lets profess our faith with new enthusiasm.
Prayers of the faithful
As God’s people communing with our lord, presence to and for us here in body and soul, lets pray confidently for what we need..
For church leaders, especially our Holy father, that they may enthusiastically encourage the world’s peoples to receive and be the living Body of Christ so that all may grow in his love and flower into eternity.
For civil leaders that they may by just and integral law and rule bring all the people to their highest dignity and happiness..
For our glorious youth that heeding Christ’s words – “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man you will not have life in you” – they may come faithfully every Sunday to the table of his body..
For ourselves that we may never fail to come every Sunday to be nourished at the table of the lord and go to spread his loving and healing presence to our homes and precious children..
For the sick, the old, the lonely and housebound that through monthly reception of the Eucharist on First Fridays they may participate in the body of Christ and be raised up..
For the dead that having shared in the banquet of eternal here through the Eucharist they may enjoy it forever in heaven..
And We ask all these prayers through the same Christ our Lord here present with us as his holy eucharistic people, amen.
This week we had the feasts of Corpus Christi and The Sacred heart which remind us of Christ’s Real Presence. The first was requested by God when appearing to St.Juliani. He said He wanted a feast set aside in honor of his Real Presence. For as the church went on, faith would diminish to the point where it would need a feast day to remind people of his Real Presence. For the same reason he asked St.Margaret to help institute the Sacred Heart feast in the octave of Corpus Christi. For the Eucharist is His heart beating for us and united with us in love. Lets ask Mother Mary to give us the grace to cherish this real and greatest of gifts..Hail Mary.