The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ which we, as Church, are celebrating today, drives home an important point for you and me: The Eucharist is not merely a liturgical ritual. It is, first and foremost, a daily commitment!
Once, Saint Faustina wrote: “All the good that is in me is due to Holy Communion. I owe everything to it. I feel this holy fire has transformed me completely.” How much humility is there in the latter thought as shared with us by this great Polish mystic! Faustina is openly admitting that any good there was in herself came directly from Jesus, as present in the Eucharist! Let us not forget that in the Eucharist Jesus gives himself entirely to us. Day and night and in every season throughout the year! His incessant love continually makes Him a twenty-four-hour prisoner of love for us. Always, thanks to His own word! Yes! That much fulfilling word which keeps reverberating in this solitary and elusive world dominated by virtual relationships and empty promises we are living in. He, in the deepest recesses of our being, keeps telling us, personally and insistently: I am with you always, to the close of the age (Matt 28:20).
Surely, Saint Faustina must have understood very well what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI taught us: “In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.” Coupled with the reception of the Eucharist the eucharistic adoration is direly needed for all of us. It is thanks to it that we can appreciate, more and more, who Jesus is and what does he keep doing for us and for our salvation now, at this moment.
We all go through difficult moments in life and face all sorts of hardships. Yet, the Eucharist, helps us remember that we are accompanied by the One who simply is. Jesus in the Eucharist “will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.” The Eucharistic Jesus “will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life, … will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore” (Ps 121:3. 7-8). That is why spending time with Him is so essential! So important! Because, in that silence that envelops both Jesus and us in prayer, there is an important message that is being communicated between Him and us and the other way round: remembrance!
Pope Francis has a very interesting reflection concerning rememberance within, of course, the Eucharistic milieau. In a homily he gave in the Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ of last year, he said:
“Remember. Memory is important, because it allows us to dwell in love, to be mind-ful, never forgetting who it is who loves us and whom we are called to love in return. Yet nowadays, this singular ability that the Lord has given us is considerably weakened. Amid so much frantic activity, many people and events seem to pass ina whirl. We quickly turn the page, looking for novelty while unable to retain memories. Leaving our memories behind and living only for the moment, we risk remaining ever on the surface of things, constantly in flux, without going deeper, without the broader vision that reminds us who we are and where we are going. In this way, our life grows fragmented, and dulled within”.
We keep remember Jesus, and thus give depth to our lives by doing eucharistic acts. When we help our neighbours materially and physically like feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, burying the dead and giving alms to the poor we are a living Eucharistic. The same can be said when we commit spiritual works of compassion, especially when we assist our neighbour emotionally and spiritually. Hence, like instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.
The Eucharist is there to transform us! Let us receive Jesus in the Eucharist with faith and let his loving care transform us in Himself.