Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why a blog on the Eucharist?

Why write a blog on the Eucharist? I have felt drawn more and more towards Jesus in the Eucharist. This blog is to help me explore that inspiration more, as well as provide a place to help others to love the Eucharist more. I want to include links to other sites that I find informative. I also want to hear from others about their experiences. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, we need to tell others about our journey with the Lord to help us all draw closer to him: “Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them by the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:35). I chose to call this site “The Food Which Endures” because of the passage from Chapter 6 of the Gospel of St. John: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal” (John: 6:27). Chapter 6 is the most beautiful, most profound explanation of the Eucharist in the scriptures. We can never exhaust the riches there. As we approach Good Friday, we are reminded of how Jesus gave himself, his whole self, for us, so that we might have eternal life. Also, as we fast on Good Friday, we can remember that the food which we are giving up that day perishes, but the food that is the result of Christ’s death and resurrection endures to eternal life.

I wanted to start this blog on Holy Thursday, when we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. It is a good time to recall that we are privileged to have access to receive communion every day if we are able to do so. So often we take even weekly mass for granted, not reflecting on the miracle of grace that we are given there in receiving Jesus. When we can’t make it to mass, we can go to a church or chapel for Eucharistic adoration. If we aren’t able to get to Jesus in the Eucharist, we can make a spiritual communion. During the day I try to think of the tabernacles that I visit and briefly “go” to one of those in my mind to be with our Lord. I had a wonderful experience on Passion Sunday. I was standing in line going up to communion and in front of me was a man holding his very small and very new baby. I recently had heard someone on Catholic radio talking about how we need to think of Jesus as being truly alive in the Eucharist. So I reflected on how the Jesus who would be in my hands in a few moments would be as alive and as real as the baby in this man’s hands. I found that image very helpful.

While this blog is explicitly Catholic in its focus, I invite people of all faiths or no faith to visit and comment if they feel moved to do so. St. Paul engaged all people in dialogue. Sometimes Jesus found more faith among Romans and Samaritans than among some externally pious people of Israel, and we all need to be humbled by that fact.

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