Bible Passage Related to the Mystery: Matthew 26: 26-29
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The Catholic Church tells us that the Holy Eucharist is, ‘The source and summit of Christian life’. A reference to the source would mean the beginning and summit indicates the epitome or the final destination. When we start on a journey, we do not expect our destination to be the same as the starting point of the journey. Uniquely, however, the Church speaks of a spiritual journey, which begins and ends at the same place.
Just as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” the Eucharist will not make sense unless form the centrality of all spiritual life if we make it the beginning and the end of our spiritual journey. In order to fully comprehend and grow in our spiritual walk, it is important to comprehend the true essence of the Eucharist.
In Rev 1:8, Christ is revealed to be the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Rom 12:5 refers to us as being part of Christ. St. Paul repeatedly refers to our ‘Life in Christ’, in Gal 3:26. As humans as we are, in our faults and failures, in desiring to live Christ (as St. Paul exhorts us), we need to acknowledge that, it is possible to commence the journey only when we accept that – unless we eat of His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life in him (John 6:53). Our life in Him commences only when we have received Him. Just as Christ’s work of salvation could be accomplished by becoming a man in order to redeem man, we can have life in Christ and allow Him to lead us in freedom, only if we are in communion with Him. That would just be the beginning of a journey embarked on by several saints and men of God.
For several years now I have been blessed to be able to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on my way to work. Over a period of time, the Lord, through the Eucharist has tempered my soul and my spirit, that my spiritual journey is no longer about the euphoria of emotions that seemed to flood me initially, it is now a mature desire to be still and know Him. My spiritual journey is no longer about focusing on ‘my spiritual experiences’ and thriving in them but allowing Him to mould my soul. As in my marriage, I have come to know the deepest desires of my spouse and understand her intimately and deeply.
Just as I know my wife’s heart, that I can easily anticipate her reactions to various situations, so is it with the Lord, in the Eucharist, in understanding the Church and its teachings. It is no longer just about finding reason and satisfaction intellectually. With the time spent before the Eucharist, I have begun to know the heart of the Lord in discerning my life. It is no longer limited to living life avoiding sin but living a life that glorifies God. Paul’s exhortation of living life in Christ began to make complete sense to me with the renewal of my mind and transformation of my soul that I experienced in the Eucharist.
Blessed Mary, increase our faith in the real presence of your son Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. We need His peace in our hearts. We need conversion from our sins, mercy and His forgiveness. May we obtain this through prayer and our union with the Eucharistic Lord. Our Lady, our mother, help us to spread the glory of Your Son through the Eucharistic Adoration. Amen.
Virtue to learn from Mother Mary for the day: To live in Christ through the Eucharist.