The Holy Eucharist is the Risen Jesus, Incarnate LOVE!
By Pedro Moreno, O.P.
Special to The Texas Catholic
In 2007, on the Feast of the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI gifted us with his first Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. The title in Latin, Sacramentum Caritatis, in English, The Sacrament of Charity, or as I prefer, The Sacrament of Love.
The Eucharist, Christ’s Real Presence under the appearance of a simple piece of unleavened bread and some wine, is the true presence of our loving and living God at our altars, in our tabernacles and in the hearts of each one of us that receive him in the Eucharist. He is our much-needed friend. He is our greatest LOVE!
The presence of God means the presence of Life and Love because God is both. The presence of God means we will never be alone. As Christ said at the end of the Gospel of Matthew… “I am with you always…” There is no such thing as a loving God that abandons us or leaves us alone! He is always with us! Be this through Spiritual Communion or having someone bring Christ to you.
Many of our friends and family might have passed on, or left our nest empty for one reason or another, but we, his disciples, are never alone. Christ is with those who live or have died with him. Christ is within each one of us, uniting us more and more, and loving us all. At Communion by sharing his love with us, he fills us with a joy beyond all measure. With Christ the nest is never empty nor absent of his life, love and joy!
Pope Benedict XVI begins Sacramentum Caritatis with this paragraph: (Emphasis is mine.)
“The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that ‘greater’ love which led him to ‘lay down his life for his friends’ (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them ‘to the end’ (Jn 13:1). In those words, the Evangelist introduces Christ’s act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, he tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us ‘to the end,’ even to offering us his body and his blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts!”
Pope Benedict, in just one paragraph, makes various connections between the Eucharist, Sacrament of Charity, and the love of God manifested in and through Jesus Christ…
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life…” (Suffering and Death)
Jesus loved us to the end. (The Crucifixion as the Sacrificial End)
The loving act of washing their feet. (Service to Others)
The Eucharist, Christ’s true and loving presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, (May we never get tired of repeating this!) calls each of us to go beyond joyful admiration and awe.
Through Him that is Love, with Him that is Love and in Him that is Love, we enter a common-union of love with Him and all others that partake of this divine meal. (Communion)
We, that have been reinvigorated with the loving life and power of Christ himself that is with us, because we have just received him, continue to share his love and life with others too. God bless those Ministers of Communion that in acts of Sacrificial Love and Service, visit our homes, our families and our friends bringing Christ and his love in the Eucharist. They not only bless the receiver, they bless our entire community.
We are supposed to be what we eat! We eat his Body and Drink his Blood. Love is what we eat. Love is our nourishment at every Eucharist and to be Christ’s Love for others is our mission.
If our ability to love, as Jesus loved us, is weak the solution is clear. If we feel alone or miss those that have passed on, the solution is clear. Our life needs more Christ. We need to reach out for Jesus as often as we can. Reaching out for Jesus´ love is at the heart of receiving the Eucharist.
If you can’t get to Mass then maybe watch one on TV. The Diocese of Dallas has a great weekly Mass on KDFI 27. During the televised Mass you can make your Spiritual Communion. A beautiful prayer for even outside the televised Mass. Or call your local parish and just say, “I’m hungry for Jesus. I’m hungry for his love. Can you bring me the Eucharist?”
Pedro Moreno, O.P. is a member of the Office of Communications team for the Diocese of Dallas.