Developing a great love for the Eucharist

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE need time and effort to develop a great love for the Eucharist. More than that. We need to rev up our faith so we can truly take seriously these words of Christ that refer to the Eucharist: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day.” (Jn 6,53-54)

We need to rekindle our Eucharistic amazement and to intensify our Eucharistic piety, since in the Eucharist we really have Christ with us and he offers himself as food for our earthly journey toward eternal life.

Obviously for this devotion to keep going and growing, we need to grow in faith also, a faith that should be expressed always in deeds of hope and charity.

If we truly have faith and love in the Holy Eucharist, if we are truly Eucharistic souls, then we cannot help but be intensely and abidingly apostolic souls as well.

In fact, we need to be most zealous in our apostolate, since it actually is a duty incumbent on all Christian believers to have and to keep burning all throughout their lives, making use of all the situations and circumstances we may find ourselves in.

Everytime we hear Mass, receive Holy Communion or visit the Blessed Sacrament, we should remember those final and most heart-felt words of Christ to his apostles: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation…” (Mk 16,15)

These words clearly indicate how Christ wants his work of redemption to continue. This time it will be carried out as a joint effort between him and us. While we are first of all the object of his redemptive work, we also become the subject of such work with him.

We also have to realize that we have in our hands a tremendous and delicate treasure that we need to take extreme care of.

Toward this end, we need to revive the proper understanding of the liturgy, and especially of the Holy Mass, and to reach that ideal of feeling that Eucharistic amazement that St. John Paul II talked about.

In an encyclical, the saintly Pope practically described the very essence of liturgy in these words: “In this gift Jesus entrusted to his Church the perennial making present of the paschal mystery. With it he brought about a mysterious ‘oneness in time’ between that (Paschal) Triduum and the passage of the centuries.” (5)

In other words, in the liturgy, especially in the Holy Mass, we are made contemporaries with Christ in his supreme sacrifice of love for us on the cross and in his resurrection. Not only that, we are also made sharers of that supreme sacrifice!

If we just bother a little to consider this wonderful truth of our faith more thoughtfully, we could not help but be amazed at what we have in the Holy Eucharist! It is an amazement that is a result of a faith and love of God, and not of merely worldly marvels and instances of human exhilaration.

It is an amazement that first of all is spiritual and supernatural before it becomes human, emotional, psychological or physical. We need to fathom the spiritual and supernatural foundations of this marvel that is the Holy Eucharist in order to be truly amazed.