“Growing in the experience of ‘the greatest love story of all time that is contained in a Tiny White Host’”
(Based on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi – The Body and Blood of Jesus)
An incident is told of a seminarian who was guiding a group of tourists in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.
These tourists were quite clueless about the Catholic Faith…
… and so paid great interest to what was being told by the seminarian-guide.
The seminarian had explained with great care about the masterpieces of art, sculpture and architecture in this magnificent basilica.
Finally, he concluded the tour of the Basilica at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the Basilica…
…. and tried to quickly explain What It was.
One of the elderly persons in the group who had paid a special attention to all the details, said:
“Pardon me! Would you please explain What is This ‘Blessed Sacrament’?”
The seminarian did.
At the end of it, the man, falling on his knees, exclaimed: “Ah! If this is so, then this Chapel where God Truly Lives, is the greater work than any other art in this entire Basilica!”
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is indeed the Most Important Treasure on this world.
Have we discovered this Spectacular Truth?
Are we passionate about this Awesome Gift?
The Year 2020 has been, in particular, a time of great trial with respect to our faith, in the midst of the pandemic. We have been physically distant from the celebration of the Eucharist.
The Solemnity of the Great Feast of the Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus, today…
… is therefore given to us, to deepen our devotion to the Lord in the Eucharist and intensify our longing and thirst for Him!
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 Holy Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Jesus – is the greatest treasure that the Church offers to Her children…
Yet, the Holy Eucharist sometimes, also becomes the great barrier for people to misunderstand and misinterpret the Church.
The same was true even in the time of Jesus.
The mention of His Body and Blood caused great division, misunderstanding and led to the misinterpretation of Jesus.
After having provided physical nourishment for the crowd (Jn 7:5-15), Jesus had declared Himself as “The Bread of Life” (Jn 6: 35).
The Greek word that is used for “bread” is “artos”.
… refers to food composed of flour mixed with water, and baked.
… also refers to food of any kind or food in general.
As “bread” or “food” is essential for the physical life
… Jesus as “the bread of life” is required for the spiritual life!
Without bread, physical life would perish….
… Without Jesus, the bread, spiritual life would perish!
The Lord surprised His hearers by saying that “the bread that I give is my flesh for the world” (Jn 6:51b)
This saying had caused a dispute among the people, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (Jn 6:52)
The bold declaration of the Lord that He would give His Flesh and His Blood as food and drink, caused a huge scandal among His listeners and it caused deep divisions and disputes.
The same is so much true in our own world – when the Church declares the Holy Eucharist to be the True and Real Body and Blood of the Lord, there are so many disputes and divisions.
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.
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
In 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.
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?
On this great Feast day, there are questions that arise before us…
- What is my belief and understanding of this most Treasured Gift of the Holy Eucharist – “the source and summit of Christian Life”
… Do I believe with conviction that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Eucharist?
… Do I celebrate and participate in the Holy Mass with this Divine Fervour?
- What is the effect that this Sacrament of Total Self-giving on me?
… Does the reception of Jesus – the Love Incarnate, make me in turn to be more loving towards others and do I make deliberate choices to extend love to all?
… Does the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist impel me also to make sacrifices – even tiny, insignificant, unnoticed – for the cause and good of others?
- What is my contribution to spread the good news of the Holy Eucharist to others?
… Am I being a person who radiates the love of the Eucharist to others, by my conscious efforts to be respectful, reverent and devoted in the Chapel or Church and also become aware of the Lord’s Presence, when passing by Churches or handling Sacred objects?
… Do I tell to other people about this exciting, real presence of God in the Holy Eucharist – especially the sick, the suffering and those in distress, that they may experience the real healing presence of the Lord?
Jesus – the Bread of Life – in the Holy Eucharist…
… eagerly longs for our reception and our adoration
The tragedy in our life, however, is that very often, this “magnetic” Eucharistic presence remains abandoned and forsaken!
It’s a pity that the Living Lord is hardly visited in the Blessed Sacrament!
Chapels and Churches often remain empty and forlorn!
Hardly any say “Hello” to the Lord in the Eucharist!
We sometimes are reducing ourselves to a generation seeking only after mighty wonders,
fascinating miracles and attracted only to external sensations!
But the Holy Eucharist – the greatest miracle of the world often remains unnoticed!
We need to come to experience that…
There is nothing more sublime in this world than the Holy Eucharistic Presence!
There is nothing more beautiful than moments spent before the Eucharistic Lord!
The Lord waits for us…every moment…every day!
The Lord seeks for us…every second…every hour!
We may have different excuses to evade and avoid time before His presence…
Maybe too many works and occupations…
Maybe a feeling that it is too dry and boring to be with Him…
Maybe an attitude that social works suffice and go beyond all such pious devotions…
But no excuse and no theory can give justification to miss the Presence of the Lord!
The more we remain with Him, the more we become like Him!
In the midst of daily scuffles and struggles of life, the Holy Eucharist ought to be the strength and support of our lives.
The Holy Eucharist may not give us…
… perfect answers or solutions in the way we expect.
… us immediate responses and remedies in the manner we want.
But the Holy Eucharist will most certainly…
… strengthen us with grace and power to face the challenges with courage.
… infuse us with a deep and intense authority to defy any difficulties that we meet.
… empower us with immense joy and peace in order to withstand the storms of life.
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”!
And, in turn, may we become a magnetic Presence of the Lord to others!
… Seeking the Eucharist, to be a Eucharist to the other!
… Loving the Eucharist to break and share oneself to the other!
Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Eucharist!
May our Blessed Mamma of the Holy Eucharist, help and intercede for us, to love the Lord more!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ Our Saviour has instituted the most August Sacrament of the Eucharist, which contains His Flesh and His Blood in their reality…
… to the end that he who eats of it shall live forever.
Whoever, therefore, frequently eats with devotion this Food, so effectually confirms the health of his soul…