What you need to know about The Greatest Food That Changes Us For Better
Once upon a time, an old rich man was dying, and his three sons seeing that the end was near for their Dad starting living with reckless abandon; lavishing his wealth and wallowing in outright wantonness. The old man was grieved but pretended to put on a brave face, while all the time thinking of a better plan to teach these prodigal sons of his lessons; that they will not forget in a hurry. One day he summoned and explained to them that the greatest part of his wealth and riches have been hidden in one of the foundations of the mansion, insisting that when he eventually dies, they should demolish the mansion and dig out the treasures.
The sons were overjoyed and wished silently for such day to arrive. Their father died and they took no time in demolishing the beautiful mansion to locate the hidden treasure. But they came up with a wooden box, pried it open and saw a note that said: “my sons, there is no treasure to find. What I did was for you to struggle and build your own house and stop relying on my sweats and lavishing my efforts”. The devastation that greeted these sons was better imagined than said.
Today we celebrate ONE of the greatest gifts given to us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Since Jesus was not capricious like the old rich man in our story, He gave us two great gifts before his death.
1. The gift of His BODY AND BLOOD on Holy Thursday, which we celebrate today with pomp and pageantry and
2. The gift of His Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary on Good Friday. (John 19:26-27). These two great gifts have no equal in the history of humanity. Today we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), a feast that demands our total attention and expression. A feast that calls us to express profoundly what we believe and teach! It is a day to appreciate and give thanks for the Gift of the Eucharist, it is day to learn more about the Holy Eucharist and become more devoted, it is day to express our faith in the real presence of the Holy Eucharist, since with our reason and intellect alone we cannot understand or love the Holy Eucharist enough.
This explains the reason for the eucharistic procession of today, telling and showing the world that Jesus is really present in the Holy Eucharist. (for pastoral reasons, some countries have different dates for this eucharistic procession like in Nigeria because of the weather condition, it has been shifted to the last Sunday of the year-Christ the King).
In sum, the Eucharistic food and drink are truly Jesus himself, not a mere symbol of his love. Some mainstream protestant churches teach the “symbolic” presence of Jesus, which is different from the “real presence” taught by Jesus and the Church.
Even though, this has been a source of debates for centuries, just as the disciples of Jesus refused to accept this teaching when they first heard it. However, we can never be tired of stating the obvious that: The words of Jesus are not symbolic, He meant every word to be understood as He said them: “Take … eat … this IS my Body which will be given up for you” (He did not say “This represents my body”), and “Take … drink …This is … my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many….” (nor did He say, “This represents my blood…”). We have the testamentary evidences of the saints to buttress this fact and even some heretics who later got converted on account of their encounter with the real presence.
There are many things to say and learn of the Holy Eucharist, but we should keep always in mind that the Eucharist is a sacrament of love and for Vatican Council II “the Holy Eucharist is the center and culmination of Christian life ” (Lumen Gentium, 11). As a sacrament of love, we are called to be “eucharist” to others by “breaking and sharing” what we have and are.
We pray for the grace of a worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist and ask for God’s pardon and mercy in the sacrament of Penance, when we find ourselves unworthy to receive such great a gift. The riches and graces of the Holy Eucharist are inexhaustible, small wonder it is known by many numerous names.
Eucharist, Lord’s Supper, Breaking of Bread, Synaxis, Memorial, Holy Sacrifice, Divine Liturgy, Sacred Mysteries, Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, Holy Things, Bread of Angels, Bread from Heaven, Medicine of immortality, Viaticum, Holy Mass (CCC 1328-1332).
Here is an interesting story that illustrates the skepticism of an unbeliever with regards to the Eucharist and the tremendous wisdom that a believer draws from it. A man came to a priest and wanted to make fun of his faith, so he asked, “How can bread and wine turn into the Body and Blood of Christ?” The priest answered, “No problem. You yourself change food into your body and blood, so why can’t Christ do the same?” But the objector did not give up. He asked, “But how can the entire Christ be in such a small host?” “In the same way that the vast landscape before you can fit into your little eye.” But he still persisted, “How can the same Christ be present in all your churches at the same time?” The priest then took a mirror and let the man look into it. Then let the mirror fall to the ground and broke it and said to the skeptic, “There is only one of you and yet you can find your face reflected in each piece of that broken mirror at the same time.”
Finally, let us always prepare ourselves to receive the Holy Eucharist, physically and spiritually, may we become devotees of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament since He became a “prisoner of love” for us in the Holy Eucharist especially in our Tabernacles. May we become adorers, people who worship and adore the Lord and also love our neighbours. Many saints lived only on the Holy Eucharist, which shows that it nourishes our Body and Soul.
Let us join St. Thomas Aquinas’ prayer of devotion in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament: “O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!” MAY OUR ADORATION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST NEVER CEASE! AND MAY WE BECOME EUCHARIST FOR OTHERS TOO! GOD BLESS YOU AND HAPPY SUNDAY. Do have a blessed week +. Blessings to you and to your family. PRAY YOUR ROSARY DAILY. Please do say a prayer for me as I uplift you in my prayers too. “A CHRISTIAN IS NOT AN ORDINARY PERSON AND THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN IS A LIFE OF WARFARE”.
PEACE BE WITH YOU. FR EMMANUEL UZOH (NWACHINAEMERE)