The worldly famous German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein said: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”.
His dictum struct me because it made me think about a curious fact that happened to me some weeks ago. Attached to my Eucharist pyx pocket I found the heart of Jesus image. I still cannot figure out how it got loosened from my key-chain and practically was appended with my Eucharist pyx pocket. Without entering into useless analysis of how this might have occurred this graced incident helped me appreciate the connection between the Eucharist and the heart of Jesus.
In his Angelus address on August 16 2015 Pope Francis nicely explained this intimate relationship between the two when he said:
“First of all, regarding the questions: what is meant by ‘eat the flesh and drink the blood’ of Jesus? Is it just an image, a figure of speech, a symbol, or does it indicate something real? In order to answer, one must divine what is happening in Jesus’ heart as he breaks the bread for the hungry crowd. Knowing that he will have to die on the cross for us, Jesus identifies himself with that bread broken and shared, and it becomes for him the ‘sign’ of the Sacrifice that awaits him. This process culminates in the Last Supper, where the bread and wine truly become his Body and his Blood. It is the Eucharist, which Jesus leaves us with a specific purpose: that we may become one with Him. Indeed he says: ‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him’ (v. 56). That ‘abiding’: Jesus in us and we in Jesus. Communion is assimilation: partaking of Him, we become as He is. This requires our ‘yes’, our adherence of faith.”
In simple words when we receive the Body and Blood of Christ at communion we are assimilated by the Eucharistic grace into Jesus being and acting. That is why, further down in his catechetical address, Pope Francis thus commented:
“The Eucharist is Jesus himself who gives himself entirely to us. Nourishing ourselves of Him and abiding in Him through Eucharistic Communion, if we do so with faith, transforms our life, transforms it into a gift to God and to our brothers and sisters. Nourishing ourselves of that ‘Bread of Life’ means entering into harmony with the heart of Christ, assimilating his choices, his thoughts, his behaviour. It means entering into a dynamism of love and becoming people of peace, people of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of sharing in solidarity. The very things that Jesus did”.
The Bible itself confirms this when it says in the Letter to the Colossians: “Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth’ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body” (Col 3:11-15).
Let us make our own Blessed Cardinal Newman’s prayer which shows that the Sacrament of the Altar contains the Sacred Heart, which contains the heart of God.
O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, Desiderio desideravi — ‘With desire I have desired.’ I worship Thee then with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O my God, when Thou dost condescend to suffer me to receive Thee, and Thou for a while takest up Thy abode with me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it, but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace.
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap