Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holy Thursday - the Commemoration of the Eucharist

Many problems darken the horizon of our time. We need but think of the urgent need to work for peace, to base relationships between peoples on solid premises of justice and solidarity, and to defend human life from conception to its natural end. And what should we say of the thousand inconsistencies of a “globalized” world where the weakest, the most powerless and the poorest appear to have so little hope! It is in this world that Christian hope must shine forth! For this reason too, the Lord wished to remain with us in the Eucharist, making his presence in meal and sacrifice the promise of a humanity renewed by his love. (Pope John Paul II in “Eucharistia de Ecclesia”)

When attempting to speak about Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist, words fail! As I reflected on this deep mystery this morning in my prayer time, before the Blessed Sacrament, I was thinking… As I look upon the host I see Jesus in His Resurrected Body hidden in the unleavened host. It is the same Jesus who as a baby slept peacefully in Mary’s arms. It is the same Jesus who sat cross-legged in the midst of the teachers in the Temple when he was 12, asking and answering questions with an understanding and with a wisdom that baffled his hearers. It is the same Jesus who took the hand of the woman caught in adultery and helped her to her feet, telling her that he did not condemn her but urged her not to sin again. It is the same Jesus who astounded his apostles by walking on the water; the same Jesus who hugged the little children and who stood before the tomb and commanded Lazarus to come out.

It is the same Jesus who saw Zaccheus in the tree, who heard the blind man call out from the roadside, who felt the woman with a hemorrhage tug at his tunic, the same Jesus who washed Peter’s feet.

And it is the same Jesus who looked at the good thief through his blood-encrusted eyes and promised him that he would follow him into Paradise. It is the same Jesus who freely laid down on the cross, stretched out his arms and let the soldiers hammer the nails into his wrists and feet. It is the same Jesus who hung there for three hours and gave us his mother – and who finally emptied himself to the very last drop of his blood.

But that wasn’t enough. He wanted to give us more – Himself in the Eucharist – for as long as life on this universe lasts. And then he will welcome us into his everlasting kingdom. If we really and truly believe that the host in the monstrance is really Jesus then let us adore Him with everything that is in us – and thank him for his unbelievable love.

May you have a blessed Tridium!

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