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Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Brief Reflection on the Eucharist

My pastor took a well needed and deserved vacation last week, so it fell to yours truly to write the bulletin column. Our second graders are making their First Communions next weekend, so I took the opportunity to write about the Eucharist. This reflection is very brief (the bulletin is only so long, after all!) but I thought you might enjoy it.

Questions and comments are welcome, as always!


God love you!

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Next weekend we celebrate the first Holy Communion of our parish 2nd graders. Our children have made their first confessions, and have prepared their souls to welcome Jesus Christ in a singular and extraordinary way into their very beings. This day is a most wonderful, most important day in the life of faith. The first communion of our young people is also a good opportunity for us to reflect upon, and remind ourselves, of not only what we receive in Holy Communion, but also what happens to us in Holy Communion.

In this reception of the Eucharist, the most blessed of sacraments, we receive nothing other than Jesus Himself. The Council of Trent teaches, “As sacrament, the Holy Eucharist is the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ who is truly, really and substantially present.” The Eucharist is not a symbol, but a reality: Christ really, truly, substantially among us. Because of this, the Mass itself is not something that we do for God, but something that God does for us. In the Mass, God allows us to truly be at, and receive the fruits of, Calvary where death was defeated and our salvation was won.

What happens to us in Holy Communion? We are transformed! He gives Himself to us in this way that we might be transformed and become more like Him. In becoming more like Him, we don’t become less who we are, but more as we are meant to be. We become more fully human, and in becoming such, we grow in true joy and happiness. We are transformed so that what God the Father sees and loves in Jesus, He may see and love in us.

The Eucharist is the foretaste and promise of eternal life, and we are told so by Jesus Himself, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:54-56) As we receive Jesus our Eucharistic Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, this Sunday and every Sunday, let us ask Jesus deepen our faith, our understanding, and our love for this greatest of gifts that He gives us.

God love you!

2 comments:

bethski said...

I love watching little ones make first communion, so freakin cute!

Adoro te Devote said...

Father V., where did you get that picture?

I found a holy card in the same style, obviously by the same artist that was given to me by my Mom on the occasion of my First Confession, back in maybe 1980?

I did find a website that carried similar holy cards, but I can't find the one I have and I'm sure there are others. Now that I have a scanner, I may scan the image so that people might be able to help me find others like it, if they are still in publication.

But if you can point the way...

Thanks and God bless!