In our desire to grow in the imitation of Christ, nothing is more helpful or important for Catholics than the Holy Eucharist. It is the gift of Jesus, always with us.
St. John Paul II wrote of that truth: “The Eucharist, as Christ’s saving presence in the community of the faithful and its spiritual food, is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history . . . The Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.”
The Eucharist has accompanied the Church throughout the ages, in good times and in bad. Saints and sinners, martyrs and missionaries, religious and royalty, peasants and popes, have all been fed by the same Eucharist. And it all started with a few simple words of our Lord at the Last Supper: “This is my body . . . This is my blood . . . Do this in memory of me.”
And what has been true for the entire Church is true for each of us individually. Think of your life’s journey – the places you’ve lived, the people you’ve met, the many varied experiences you’ve had. Through it all, because of the Eucharist, Jesus has been present to you, available to you, loving you every step of the way. Jesus has never abandoned us. Like the true friend that he is, Jesus is always there for us.
And what of your future? Where will you be, what will you be like, and what will you be doing in ten years, or five years, or next year, or even tomorrow? Of course we don’t know; the future is always hidden from our eyes, isn’t it? But what we do know is that in the Holy Eucharist Jesus will be with us with arms open, ready to receive all of our hopes and dreams and prayers.
Recently at a school Mass I heard the students sing the lovely hymn, “Jesus my Lord, my God, my all,” and it transported me right back to my childhood when we sang the very same hymn. You see, the years roll on but Jesus is still there – my Lord, my God and my all.
Something to think about: When Catholics stop going to Mass they miss so much, including their regular contact with Jesus, present in the Eucharist.