It was the 14th century in Bologna, Italy
A little girl was deeply in love with Jesus!
Her parents were devout Catholics, known for their charity and generosity to the underprivileged of Bologna.
So intense was her love for the Lord, that at the age of 9 (which was extremely unusual), she entered the cloistered Dominican community.
To receive Our Lord in Holy Communion became the burning desire of her heart.
But the custom of the place and time had fixed twelve as the earliest age for reception of first Holy Communion.
This pious girl kept begging for an exception to the rule, but the chaplain of the community refused.
Her prayers were miraculously answered on the Feast of the Ascension in 1333.
After Mass, she stayed in her place in the chapel, where one of the nuns was putting away the sacred vessels.
Suddenly, the nun heard a noise and turned towards Imelda.
Hovering in mid-air, as the little girl was knelt in prayer, was a Sacred Host, the Blessed Eucharist, shining with a bright and forceful light.
The frightened nun ran to find the chaplain.
By the time the chaplain arrived, the rest of the nuns and other onlookers had crowded, awe-struck, into the chapel.
When the priest saw the shining, hovering host, he put on his vestments, went over to the girl, took the miraculous host in his hands, and gave her Holy Communion.
Some minutes later, after the crowd had dispersed, the mother superior came over to call her for breakfast.
She found the girl still kneeling, with a smile on her face.
But the girl was dead!
She had died of love, in ecstasy and bliss, after receiving Christ in the Eucharist.
The name of the girl was Imelda Lambertini.
Today she is Blessed Imelda, the Patron of the First Holy Communicants. Her incorrupt body, interred in a Church in Bologna.
Imelda had discovered the greatest treasure on the earth – the Most Holy Eucharist.
Today we solemnly celebrate the Great Feast of the Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus.
The Catechism of the Church teaches, “In the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained” (#1374).
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus with His chosen disciples, celebrated the Passover Meal, taking the bread and wine, solemnly declaring, “This is my Body” (Mk 14: 22) and “This is my Blood” (Mk 14: 24)
The following day, Jesus would carry out this sacrifice of offering Himself for the expiation of the sins of the world, on Mount Calvary.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.
• The Holy Mass is not another sacrifice.
• The Holy Mass is not a repetition of the sacrifice of Calvary.
• The Priest at the Holy Mass is not offering a different sacrifice.
• The Holy Mass is the same sacrifice of Jesus.
• The Holy Mass is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.
• The Priest at the Holy Mass is Jesus Himself, the High Priest and Victim of the Sacrifice.
What is our understanding, love and commitment to the Holy Mass?
In the Holy Eucharist, we have the promise of the Emmanuel God, “I am with you always, till the end of the age” (Mt 28: 20) being fulfilled.
Do we also cultivate the growth and longing to be with our Saviour Lord?
We live in times when…
… there is a lot of indifference growing
… there are several newer problems and crisis cropping up
We live in a situation of faith where…
… there is a tendency to dilute many of the spiritual values
… there is a strong opposition to living holy and sanctified lives
For all such struggling moments and trying situations, we have an answer and solution in the Holy Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the story of a God who longs to dwell with us and in us.
The Eucharist is the saga of a God who is madly and passionately in love with us.
He longs for us..
He craves for us….
He desires for us…
From the Cross, our Blessed Lord cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28b)
Shall we not respond, with a positive affirmation, to this cry of the Lord?
May this Feast day…
… be a reminder for us of the deep, unconditional and exciting love of the Lord
… be an occasion for us to revive our spiritual lives and to renew our commitments
… be a day to resolve to be more zealous and passionate with respect to the Holy Eucharist
… be an opportunity to renew our lives to be a “Eucharist”- broken & shared – to one another
Blessed Imelda would sometimes exclaim, “Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?”
This ought to be the ideal in our passion and love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
• In the Holy Eucharist, we have a treasure that is unparalleled and unmatched
• In the Holy Eucharist, we have a promise to eternal and a joy that knows no bounds.
May we grow in the love of the Holy Eucharist, for, as Bishop Fulton Sheen says, “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host”!
Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Eucharist!
May our Blessed Mamma of the Holy Eucharist, help & intercede for us, to love the Lord more!
God Bless! Live Jesus!