I heard a homily yesterday that stirred my heart to the very core. The priest spoke about the precious gift that Jesus bestowed upon us when he offered us Himself–in the Holy Eucharist. How blessed we are to receive all that Jesus has offered to us. When we are approached by others asking us if we have asked to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we can honestly tell them that not only do we have a personal relationship, but we solidify it every single time we receive Him–all of Him in the Eucharist.
I often wonder why other faiths seem to skim over the Gospels where Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist? If they truly believe all that the Bible says, then why ignore the Last Supper, which is repeated nearly verbatim in three of the Gospels?
For he said in Luke 22:17, 19-20 – “Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks
he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves;…’
Then he took a loaf of bread,
and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them,
saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
And he did the same with the cup after supper,
saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ “
And in Matthew 26:26-28 – “While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread,
and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples,
and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you;
for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ “
And Mark 14:22-24 – “While they were eating, he (Jesus) took a loaf of bread,
and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them,
and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.
He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’ “
And we are instructed to carry on as in
1 Cor 11:23-26 – “For I (Paul) received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,
and when he had given thanks, he broke it
and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way he took the cup also, after supper,
saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
And of course, John speaks of the Bread of Life–Jesus is that Bread of Life or Panis Vitae
John 6:35, 47-58 –
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…
Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;
for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.
Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died.
But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
How Blessed we are to be Catholic and know that we become what we eat by receiving the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. I would think that if people really knew what they were receiving, that no church could hold all the people wanting to receive Him!