In view of the Eucharistic Revival Journey, which is going to be launched on June 19, 2022, I would like to share with you in the coming weeks my reflections on the Holy Eucharist. I hope this would be helpful to those who read my column to understand deeply this Sacrament.
The Sacramental nature of the Eucharist is such that visibly we see and taste the qualities of the bread and wine; but invisibly they make present the Person of Jesus Christ with His divine Body and Blood. Moreover, the liturgical celebration of the Holy Mass makes present the redeeming sacrifice of His Passion, Death and Resurrection and Jesus is truly and substantially present with His redeeming love. This is what the Second Vatican Council in its “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy teaches:
“At the Last Supper, … our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross through the ages until he should come again, … a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet…” (Vatican II, Const. on the Sacred Liturgy #47).
Considering the Eucharistic Mystery from its different aspects, the Eucharist is called with different names:
- From the sacrificial aspect: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- From the reality of Christ’s presence: The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ and the Blessed Sacrament
- From the effect the Eucharist brings to the faithful: Bread of Life, Cup of Salvation and Holy Communion, since the Eucharist unites the people of different color, nationality and language.
St. John, one of the Gospel writers, explains in Chapter six that with the multiplication of bread, which fed the multitude, Jesus reveals His identity saying: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst … I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever… He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:35, 41 & 54)
May God be praised for this Most Holy Sacrament
Fr. Arul Joseph V.