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The Holy Eucharist

     Regardless of where I am in the world, or the language the mass is said in, at every Mass I go to  during the words of the consecration and the elevation of both the host and chalice I always find a smile to be upon my face. Focusing all my attention on the Eucharist, I cannot help to smile and have a feeling of total peace and absolute joy. The God, who loves me so much is starring at me and I, a sinful person am able to stare in adoration right back at the loving God. Then, when I bow, I always repeat in my heart a faith-response from one of the apostles or people made in the Gospel. My favorite of these is the one exclaimed by St Thomas, " My Lord and My God" ( John 20:28). I repeat this phrase multiple times as I acknowledge and reverence the Lord present in the bread and wine.

     In our midst every single time we celebrate the mystery of the Eucharist, Christ comes and becomes fully present within the form of the bread and wine. The Christ, who walked the earth and who so much wanted us to follow the father, wanted not to remain distant from his believers, but remain close them, takes presence in the Eucharistic species. He left us with this sacramental presences which is the source and summit of the Christian life and which we are called to take and eat of.

    Todays Gospel forms for the Gospel of John the Eucharistic insinuation.Taking a step further on to what he had previously taught how he is the Bread of life, he says " I am the living bread, that came down from heaven..." ( John 6: 51) Alluding to what we hear in the first reading, Jesus is the new manana,the new bread from heaven that gives eternal life. He is the bread that comes and gives life, life eternal to those who believe in him. Christ wants to share this bread, he wants to share this life with the entire world, and so he invites everyone to come and have a personal relationship with him.

    Christ desired that we are not left alone on earth but would have him with us forever. So he left us himself within the Eucharistic species. This we know, is a foretaste of what is truly to come, the feast that Isaiah talks about ( Isaiah 25:6.) It is the feast that will be prepared for us, and that we will all partake of: the feast that feeds us more than we will know. The Eucharistic meal we have and share now, is a foretaste of the heavenly Eucharist we shall partake of if we believe in him.

     The Eucharist is Christ among us, fully and truly. To be able to partake of this memorial sacrificial meal is the privileged of those whom live on every word that comes from the mouth of God. This central meal that forms the Catholic teaching, allows us to communicate with our God and each other in a personal way that reaches beyond the divisions we create. For the Eucharist gathers together all those whom Love God, and dissolves the individualism that we bring to the mass. The Eucharist, rather, gives us a new identity, an identity of believers centered on one thing: Christ.

    The people of Gods family, the body of Christ, gather around the altar of selfless sacrifice to receive and partake of the body of Christ, our nourishment.  It is through the gathering, blessing, breaking and eating, that we are gathered together under God, and fulfill the Lords call for us to this in remembrance of him.

    The centrality of the Eucharist is one that is expressed in the liturgy but must be expressed in our lives. The focus on the Eucharist in the mass must consume our entire lives and be lived out, outside the four walls of the church. The Eucharist, strives to be lived out in our lives. The Lamb of God whom we received at the Altar of selfless giving, calls, but its very nature to be spread. Following the example of Jesus, whom we have received, we the body of Christ are misa or sent out. We are sent our live the Gospel. We are sent out to be an example of the Eucharist and its power in our daily life.

    May we come to fall in adoration for the Christ who smiles at us as we smile at him present in the host. May we come to desire the Bread of Life that comes down from heaven that is life eternal. May we strive every day more and more in anticipation of the heavenly banquet. May we constantly remember that the Eucharist is our refreshment and our source in which we draw our strength back to. May we constantly be an example of the living body of Christ to others.


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