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  A Christian Faith Magazine November 2003, Volume 9, Issue 4  
The Eucharist
Rev. Mark Connolly
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The devotion to Christ in the Eucharist is the center of our religious faith. We hear expressions like manna from Heaven, the living bread, and many others which remind us of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a crucial part of your personal life and your personal relationship with Christ. Each one of us has, in the language of St. Augustine, a personal hunger for God. And that hunger for God is satisfied according to our devotion and love for Christ in the Eucharist. I would like to share some thoughts with you on the Eucharist so that it will become what Christ intended it should be, a source of greater personal peace and happiness.


The Eucharist should remind us of three definite themes in our lives. First, the value of knowing more about the personality of Christ. Secondly, how through the Eucharist Christ becomes more personally real to all of us. Thirdly, that through the Eucharist we derive a peace that no one but Christ can give.

Those are our three themes. And now to explore the first theme...the personality of Christ. Everyone must realize that to deepen his faith in the Eucharist, the personality of Christ must become someone that is real and alive to each one of us. We just cannot consider Christ as someone out of the past, someone who is not here with us today, especially in time of need. We cannot just consider Christ as the person who, on Holy Thursday night centuries ago, stood before His Apostles and said, "This is my Body. This is my Blood. It should remind us that this person Christ was a man of kindness, a man of tenderness, and a man of love. Our personality, when we receive Christ in communion, radiates the qualities that Christ showed during the time of His life on earth. Our personal devotion, our personal closeness, our personal love of Christ in the Eucharist enables us to develop the personality traits that were so much a part of the personality of Christ. That is why St. Paul used to say to the early Christians, especially in time of need, with Christ, we can do everything. The closer we are to Christ, in the Eucharist, the more we develop His qualities. The more we bring these qualities into our own home and parishes has to be the personal aim of everyone, because without Christ, you can do nothing.

Saint John
St. John

The second theme that should be uppermost in all is that the Eucharist is the power of Christ in our lives. Sounds abstract, doesn't it! But just reflect on the message Christ gave when He instituted the Eucharist. It dynamized the apostles. It gave them new strength. That same energy, that same strength, Christ gives to us. That is what we mean when we speak of the Eucharist being the power of Christ. When we say that the Eucharist is the power of Christ, we simply are saying that Christ is saying to every person, whatever problem you have, whatever cross you are carrying, can be helped through the Eucharist, the power of Christ. Christ is saying, "Look, I know you are worrying about this child, this wife, this husband, or this problem. I know you have a sense of fear as to what tomorrow might bring. But I guarantee you this, that if you intensify your devotion in the Eucharist, you will receive the strength, you will be given the courage, you will be given the answers to that which you are seeking." Centuries ago, St. John reminded us that there would come a time in the life of each one of us when God would wipe away every tear, and every pain suffering would be vanquished. St. John wasn't just referring to the life after this life on earth. He was referring to the happiness that can be ours through a most ardent devotion to Christ in the Eucharist.

The third theme, that pertains to the Eucharist and you, is subject of peace; personal peace. Centuries ago, Christ said peace be with you." He gives the same greeting to you in the Eucharist. The closer you are to God, the greater the peace of mind and soul. Peace we know escapes nations and the result is war. . The greatest method we have for being at peace with God is through the Eucharist. St. Augustine was so right when he said, You have made us for Yourself, 0 Lord, and our hearts will not rest until they rest in you. The Eucharist is the only guarantee we have on this earth for a lasting kind of peace, because it is rooted and founded in Christ, the Prince of Peace.

None of us have any idea where we will be in the future. During that time we should grow spiritually. And that growth will be helped by each one of us, by increasing our personal knowledge of Christ, making Christ become more real to us through the Eucharist. None of us can forget that on Holy Thursday night Jesus Christ took lifeless bread and changed it into the Bread of Life. The Eucharist changed the lives of the Apostles. That same Eucharist can transform us into Christ-like personalities.

That is a great truth:
whoever eats His Flesh
and drinks His blood
will never hunger.
That is why Jesus made Himself
Bread of Life
to satisfy our hunger for God,
our hunger for love,
for Divine love,
that everlasting love,
that infinite love....

- Mother Teresa

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