The Eucharist: The Food of Life
It is often very difficult to comprehend how the Eucharist we receive at every Eucharistic celebration can really be food that gives life. Yet, it is a mysterium fidei (mystery of faith), which the Lord himself says that we cannot live unless we eat His body and drink His blood. In Deuteronomy 8.3, God had already stated that “man does not live by bread alone but by everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Whatever comes from the mouth of God gives us life, and so, it is important that we actually live by it. Our brothers and sisters in faith, who had lived according to the “words from the mouth of the Lord” bear witness to this truth.
The Eucharist is the food of love, and there is no true love in which there is no sacrifice. Think of husbands and wives who truly are committed to each other and give of themselves for the good of the other, in season and out of season; think of the sacrifices parents make for their children, in good and in bad. Think about the many sacrifices you make to bring life and love to people who feel they are nobodies, persons who are underprivileged, people you do not even know, people who are suffering! Look at the hurt you have suffered in your life, sometimes from the people you love so deeply; yet, you are able, through the grace of God, to find the space in your heart for them, so that love triumphs over evil, and goodness shines forth through your act of forgiveness. You just have to picture these instances of love and how they cleanse our hearts and make us new, giving us more courage to love.
God gives us Himself in Jesus Christ fully and completely so that we can live, for love is the food that gives us life, and God is love. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Charity, which shows us that there is nothing that can take us away from God. He gave himself for us and urges us to remain in Him as He remains in us (Jn. 15.9), and the clearest way He remains in us, is the Eucharist. This feast of the Corpus Christ invites us to let the Lord love us fully and totally through the Eucharist, and to make known to the whole world the mystery of God’s love in the Eucharist. We can begin to do this through showing more reverence to the Eucharist, like dressing well when coming to Mass, avoiding talking too much in the Church, or chewing gum; some even litter the church after Eucharistic liturgy! If we knew who we come to dine with and who is the food of this banquet of love, our whole attitude would certainly be different. I pray we grow each day to the deeper awareness and appreciation of the Lord that we receive in the Eucharist, our communion with God Himself and with one another. Amen