The Eucharist by Lawrence G. Lovasik

Recognize Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist – There is a significant reason our Lord chose the feast of the Passover for the institution of the Blessed Sacrament. As the true Paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ, who allowed Himself to be slain as a sacrificial lamb on the Cross freed us from the slavery of Satan. By His Blood, He willed to preserve us from eternal death in Hell and to lead us into the promised land of Heaven.

Jesus Himself performed the first Consecration at the Last Supper. “Take; this is my Body… This is my Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many… do this in remembrance of me.” With this command, Jesus gave the Apostles and their successors – and them alone – the power to do what He had done, for without power they could not fulfill His command. Priests exercise the power of consecration only “in the person of Christ Himself.”

Jesus said just what He meant and meant just what He said. This was the night before His death. He was solemnly dictating His last will and testament. He was using the dearest, simplest, most unmistakable words, not figurative or vague words.

Even Martin Luther said: “I wish that someone could convince me that in the Eucharist there is nothing more than bread and wine. I have thought of this question till the sweat has poured from my brow, and I confess I am still held in its bonds, and I see no way to free myself. The Gospel testimony is too clear.”

Once, when Jesus was on earth, men had to seek Him. Now He seeks men in order that He might make them happy – not only by His presence, but by the many blessings for soul and body that come with that presence.

If He had remained in the splendor of His glorified body, our eyes would not have been able to bear it, and we would not have dared to approach Him. In the Eucharist He covers His splendor with the sacramental veils. He might have veiled Himself beneath other appearances; but He preferred the appearance of bread to make us understand that He is the “Bread of God…come down from Heaven, which gives life to the world” (John 6:33) by divinely nourishing our souls. To the appearance of bread He added the appearance of wine to make us understand that the Eucharist is a complete banquet and that Mass is the Sacrifice of Calvary continued.

You could not have a more beautiful model of humility than Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He teaches you poverty for He is satisfied with the humble covering of the bread and wine, even lessening Himself within the limits of a tiny particle. With what perfect obedience He becomes present on our altars during holy Mass at the simple words of a priest! And He leaves himself entirely at the disposal of men with patience bearing their coldness, irreverence, and negligence – He returns their ingratitude with kindly love!

Our Lord’s last will is expressed in His words spoken shortly before He began His Sacred Passion: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4). This union with Christ is made perfect in Holy Communion. Hence Holy Communion is God’s best means of sanctifying you.

It is by visits to the Blessed Sacrament that you open you soul to His transforming action. Share with Him you joys and sorrows, your feelings and affections, your plans and desires. Your whole life is meant to be a sharing with Christ, gradually transforming you into Christ.

Even when you forget Him, He thinks of you; even when you offend or disappoint Him, He sacrifices Himself for you at Mass; when you have trials, He is ready to console and strengthen you. His Sacred Heart calls to you from the tabernacle, “come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

Our Savior, in His agony in the garden went to His apostles Peter, James, and John to seek a little consolation from them but He found them asleep. He said to them, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matt 26:40-41).

The Last Supper, the Sacrifice of the Cross, and holy Mass are one and the same Sacrifice, and Jesus is the only Victim. At the Last Supper, He made one offering of Himself to His heavenly Father. It was carried out and completed on the Cross and is continued throughout all time by His priests at holy Mass. On Calvary He redeemed us and merited graces for us. Our souls receive these graces at holy Mass.

“Give us this day our daily bread…” – This refers to Holy Communion. Like the manna that was the daily food of the Israelites in the desert, the Eucharist is bread come down from heaven to give life by nourishing grace within your soul – intended to be the daily spiritual food of Christians.

Each Host consecrated on the altar is meant to find its resting place in the tabernacle of a Christian heart.

Only at the time of Holy Communion can you enjoy the great privilege of being intimately united with the human nature of our Lord. You can possess His divinity in your soul at all times by remaining in a state of grace.

“Draw me entirely into Your Heart, for Your side was pierced so that it might be open as an entrance to receive us. Your Heart was wounded so that we might abide in it and find relief in every trouble from without.” – St Bonaventure

“Our Lord is hidden there in the tabernacle, waiting for us to come and visit Him and make our requests to Him. See How good He is ! He accommodates Himself to our weakness. In Heaven, where we shall be glorious and triumphant, we shall see Him in all His glory. If He had presented Himself before us in that glory now, we would not have dared to approach Him; but He hides Himself, lik a person in prison, who might say to us, ‘You do not see me, but that is no matter; ask of me all you wish and I will grant it.’ Jesus is there  to console us and therefore we ought often to visit Him. How pleasing to Him is the short quarter of an hour that we steal from our occupations, from something of no use, to come and pray to Him, to visit Him, to console Him for all the outrages He receives. What happiness do we now feel in the presence of God, when we find ourselves alone at His feet before the Holy tabernacle!” – St John Vianney

 

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