By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
I’M referring to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. That is where we get in direct contact with the living and redeeming Christ. We become contemporaries of his and join him in his redemptive work, sanctifying ourselves in the process and helping in the sanctification of everybody else.
In the Holy Mass, which makes present the culminating love of Christ for us by going through his passion, death and resurrection, we are invited to offer with him the supreme sacrifice to God our Father. It sacramentalizes the fullness of Christ’s redemptive work on us.
In so doing, we obtain forgiveness for all our sins and achieve our reconciliation with God from whom we come and to whom we belong. We cannot achieve this without Christ doing it for us and with us. He is the one who does it for us.
On our own, we cannot achieve that end because the creature cannot fully repay the debt he incurs from his Creator who is infinitely above our nature and capabilities. It can only be God who is also man who can perfectly mediate between God and man.
But our part is to act, in a manner of speaking, as laborers in the field. As St. Paul said in his First Letter to the Corinthians (3,6-9), we are “God’s fellow workers” and we ourselves are “God’s field.” Ours is to till the soil, water the plants, but it is “only God who gives the growth” to the plants.
Just the same, we need to do our part as best that we could because the effect of God’s mercy and grace in the Eucharist would depend on how we prepare ourselves to receive that divine mercy and grace.
Yes, it’s true that the objective effect of the Eucharist can still take place with our mere virtual intention to receive it, but it would be much better if we receive its effect with the best of our intentions and effort.
We need to realize more deeply what a tremendous reality we have in the Holy Eucharist! We have Christ himself in his real presence, he who is the Son of God who became man to save us. And we have him as the main food and sustenance in our arduous spiritual journey here on earth. And most of all, we have him in his supreme act of love for us by bearing all our sins and offering his life on the cross.
These truths about the sacrament should move us deeply to correspond to God’s love with our own generous love. We can do this by participating more actively in the Holy Mass and in going to Mass for often than just on Sundays.
By active participation in the Mass, we mean that we really should enter into the spirit of the Mass, realizing as vividly as possible the very sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his glorious resurrection, feeling the tremendous love Christ has for us, and making many acts of faith and love.
We should see to it that we are eager to receive Christ in Holy Communion as Christ himself has strongly invited his disciples to do so. He practically begs us to receive Him in Communion.
“Truly, truly, I say to you,” he said, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Jn 6,53-54)
We should also have the intense desire to spend precious time with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. As much as possible, we can do this everyday. And that visit should be spent nourishing our faith and strengthening our supernatural outlook, as we again go through the whole redemptive life and work of Christ. In a sense, it’s in this visit that we would have the most direct link with living and redeeming Christ.