The Euchrist and us!
Dear True Believer,
The Church affirms that at Mass, Christ changes bread and wine into his body and blood, while the appearances of bread and wine remain. When we receive Holy Communion, we truly receive the body and blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1373-1382).
This means that at Mass we are in the presence of the same Jesus who was born at Bethlehem, worked miracles, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. We receive Jesus Christ himself. We are united to the God who made the entire universe, who guides creation with mighty power, and who will judge us at the moment of death.
Even if we believe all this, can we possibly absorb its full meaning? Can we ever respond adequately to Christ? There is nothing on earth greater than being in the presence of Jesus. It is possible to forget this, however, and we need to give ourselves a "reality check." People will go to great lengths to see a famous politician, to get an autograph from a celebrity, or to attend a concert by a popular singer. But at every Mass, Jesus Christ, the greated human being that ever lived, "our Lord and our God," is present! He is present, not as an aloof dignitary, but as One who enters our hearts and gives us a personal audience. He doesn't want us to fain, but he certainly wants us to recognize him and to focus our minds and hearts on him. Why? Not because Jesus needs our praise, but because we need him for life itself. "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you"(Jn 6:53).
If all of us who attend Mass see Jesus with eyes of faith, receive him with love, and carry his loving presence into our homes and neighborhoods, workplaces and schools, we will do what Paul asks in today's second reading. We will clothe ourselves "with the new self, created according to the likeness of God."
Fr. Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.
The Essential Needs Of The Heart
I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never
hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
We can come to believe that in Jesus we will never "hunger" or "thirst" again only if we accept that real life is a lot simpler than we allege. Most of us get caught up in the frenzy of daily living and conclude that this is what life is all about . . . Jesus spoke endlessly about the importance of love, of not living for possessions, of simplicity, and of living in the service of others. The genius of Christianity is that it does have all the answers to the esential needs of the human heart.
Concentrate on what is essential in your life. Don't exaggerate your needs. Realize that you make life complex with inflated expectations, and complicate it by turning luxuries into necessities. What do you really need to be happy? Simplify. Try making love the one rule for dealing with others. Trust that God loves you and cares for your with infinite compassion, even in the smallest of details. If you can live with the essentials and not be intimidated by things that don't really matter in life, Jesus' claim that you will never hunger or thirst again is not simplistic at all.
Michael R. Kent
Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at each other - it doesn't matter who it is - and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.