The Institution of the Eucharist
by Fr. Peter deSousa
What a wonderful privilege it is to participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice everyday. The Eucharist is celebrated somewhere in the world, throughout the day. In addition to this, there are so many people in Adoration chapels, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. I am part of this family of believers who lift me up in prayer, just as I do for them. The new and eternal covenant in his blood, makes us one with Abba Father and with each other. Jesus knocks down all the dividing walls that separate us and keep us alienated from God and each other. He unites us with himself in offering praise and thanksgiving to God and our joyful Amen resonates throughout the world.
Our world is full of betrayals, rejections, failures to love and be life-giving, broken commitments, egoistic self-seeking, selfishness, using and abusing those who are weak and powerless, superficial promises, security in possessions and love for money, paying lip-service to God to seek his protection without accepting his lordship in our lives. I am as weak and sinful as anyone else. I need to confess my sins to Almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters to pray to the Lord, our God for me, as I do for you.
Jesus' life-giving word offers me hope. I need to read it before Mass and again after wards during the day, so that the Word may bear fruit in my life. Otherwise I am like the land that is hard, rocky, covered with thorns, or where the birds eat up the seed, so that the scattered word cannot bear fruit.(Mt 13)
Jesus invites me to be broken and poured out in love with Him, as I offer my body and allow my blood to be poured out, in the crosses of my daily life. Sacrifice means self-emptying like Jesus in Phil 2:1-11. I have to be emptied of egoistic pride, self-righteousness, retaining anger, taking revenge, remaining cold, indifferent or uninvolved with those who may have hurt, rejected or annoyed me. I have to be life-giving in forgiving and serving them in love.
Every moment I need to thank and praise my God for all his blessings showered on me. The word "Eucharist" means thanksgiving. I have to thank the Father for pruning me, through the crosses in my daily life, to bear more fruit in my life. The fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, understanding of others, kindness and fidelity, gentleness and self-control.(Gal 5:22-23) Joy is not an absence of suffering, but the presence of God.
As I eat the bread and drink the cup, I partake of and assimilate into my system, the body and blood of Jesus, so that he may live in me each day. I now no longer live. Christ my Lord lives in me. I am now in communion with Jesus and the whole community of the faithful and the Blessed in Heaven. What a wonderful opportunity to offer and experience the peace that makes us one in Christ.
I am finally sent forth to proclaim Jesus as Lord as I bring his love to those he sends me to each day. Like Mary, I too am privileged to be a Christ-bearer to others.
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