This week in church, we are reminded of the Eucharist which is the highlight of the mass that gives a great sense of meaning to our identity as Christian disciples of Jesus. It strengthens our belief when the Body and Blood of Christ are consecrated by the priests to be given to the people in the mass. It shows the sacrifice that Jesus has given to the world and his promise that he is here with us till the end of time. I remember that promise as I take one day at a time and learn not to worry about what tomorrow may bring.
Today’s gospel shows the significance of the Eucharist and is a timely reminder to always be present at the mass with great reverence and utmost respect. Many of us are spiritually hungry because we have experienced things in our lives that are bugging us and sometimes we feel helpless because our friends have deserted us and nobody can identify with us. But Jesus through the Eucharist gives us the renewed hope that with prayer and trust, we can get out of the rut and eat with him at the Passover. Jesus always provides as he says,” The Teacher says,”Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready” (Mark 14:12-16).
During Holy Thursday, we saw Jesus making the first covenant with his disciples that gives us to believe his death and resurrection is real and that he is alive in all of us. It is the validation of these words that we say during mass that Jesus said to his disciples, “While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many” (Mark 14:12-16). The host to me is a tangible sign that represents the sacrificial love that Jesus believes will save and convert many and the wine to me is the efforts that we put in and give to others for them to know this loving God.
To further amplify Jesus’ great works, there are many Eucharistic miracles around the world that strengthens our faith and converts those who choose to believe. The Miracle of Lanciano is one of the miracles that you would have to read and probably see to believe that Jesus affirms us when we go to him with our problems, accomplishments and worries. It shows that the host has transformed into the physical Body and Blood of Christ. The article states that,“The major findings from this research include the following: The Flesh, yellow-brown in color, has the structure of the myocardium (heart wall) and the endocardium, the membrane of fibrous-elastic tissue lining all the cardiac cavities. These have the same appearance as in the human heart. No traces of preservatives were found in the elements.
“The blood was also of human origin with the type AB. Proteins in the clotted Blood were normally fractioned with the same percentage ratio as those found in the sero-proteic make-up of normal, fresh human blood. The blood contained these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.” Praise God that he has opened our eyes to not doubt but trust that he is real and that we are called to be disciples in spreading both love and encouragement unto others by reaching out to them.
Jesus gives us the ability to live without fear so we can practice our faith freely and allow him to work through us. Even though we might not comprehend or understand the plans that Jesus has for us, we just have to do our best in speaking about Jesus and of this great love and humility that society needs.
One thing that irks me during mass is that people are leaving the church even before the priest exits, and this to me is an act of disrespect, at least let the priest exit before leaving. It is important that mass is not just something we sit through every weekend but an experience that draws us closer to God.
The Eucharist or Bread of life gives us unity in the passion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus for our journey towards eternal life with him. Jesus is always willing to give and this spiritual food gives us the grace to be firmly rooted in faith,love and courage to proclaim the Good News.
We also continue to keep Pope Francis’ intentions for the month of June close to our hearts, and pray that immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come, and that the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life. Praise God! and we thank him for his unconditional love for us, though we carry our own sins, he loves us.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong