Monday, July 25, 2005


The Holy See is preparing for a Synod of Bishops to be held in Rome marking the close of, “The Year of the Eucharist.” Among the matters to be discussed by the Bishops is the notable lack of respect and devotion for the Blessed Sacrament that has become evident in many places.

The renowned theologian Fr. John Harvey wrote that the greatest challenge that the Church faces today is the catechetical illiteracy of many Catholics. Do we really believe the Lord Jesus when He said: "I am the Bread of Life?"

This Sunday’s Mass formulary (July 31, 2005) provides us with a liturgical reminder of the Church’s doctrine regarding the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We read in the Responsorial Psalm: "The hand of the Lord feeds us; He answers all of our needs.” The Eucharist is Our Divine Savior’s supreme gift to us. It is the Gift beyond compare!

The Gospel describes the manner by which Jesus prepared His disciples for the mystery of the Eucharist. By an act of His divine power, He feeds many thousands with, “five loaves and two fish.” This miraculous multiplication manifested that Jesus, the Son of God, had the power to change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. On Holy Thursday night, He bestowed this exact same power to His Apostles when He ordained them the first Priests of the Catholic Church.

The Universal Catechism reaffirms the unambiguous teaching of the Council of Trent, promulgated on October 11, 1551. The Council of Trent taught infallibility that Jesus Christ is really present in the Holy Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He is truly and substantially present.

On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus took bread in His Sacred Hands and said: "This is My Body." With these words of consecration, the entire substance of the bread ceased to be bread and became His Body. Then He took the cup filled with wine and said: "This is My Blood." Instantly, the entire substance of the wine ceased to be wine and became His Precious Blood. A substantial change took place. Bread ceased to be bread; wine ceased to be wine. Only, the appearance of bread and wine remained. This change is known as the transubstantiation.

In the Blessed Sacrament, our senses see, smell, touch and taste bread and wine. Yet, we know by our faith that this is the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus, the God-Man, is true to His word. He is truly present in the Eucharist. He is present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Moreover, Catholic faith teaches us that we must adore Our Divine Lord in the Blessed Sacrament with a worship that can only be given to God. Jesus Christ is the Son of God!

At the Closing Prayer of this Sunday’s Mass, the Priest prays: “Lord, you give us the strength of new life by the gift of the Eucharist. Protect us with your love and prepare us for eternal redemption.” Eternal redemption! Yes! The Holy Eucharist is Our Lord’s pledge to us of eternal salvation!

The essential mission of the Church is the salvation and the sanctification of souls. It accomplishes this mandate through the Mass and the Sacraments, principally the Blessed Sacrament. Without the Eucharist, our safe journey into eternity heaven would not be possible. Without the Eucharist, we would not have the strength to resist the wickedness of Satan. Without the Eucharist, we would become captives to the world, the flesh and the Devil. It was precisely for this reason that Our Divine Savior insisted that we must eat His Body and drink His Blood. “Unless you eat my Body and drink my Blood, you will not have life in you.”

May Mary, The Woman of the Eucharist, teach us to have a deep and abiding love and devotion for the Gift Beyond Compare, Jesus, truly present, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


Post a Comment

<< Home