Monday, July 03, 2006


Pope John Paul II, in his Wednesday Audience of April 12, 1995, said that the Eucharist must be the central focus of our lives. "The mysterious reality of the Eucharist introduces believers into the `plan' of God, Creator and Redeemer. God wanted His only Son to be incarnate and ever present among us as our traveling companion on the arduous journey toward Heaven."

Our deceased Holy Father's words should inspire us to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion often, even daily. Imagine! In the Eucharist, the Son of God has willed to become our traveling companion on our journey through life. Moreover, Pope John Paul reminded us that the Eucharist is the source of our strength by which we remain faithful to every vocation. "It must be at the heart of the life of priests and consecrated people. It must be the light and strength of spouses in putting into practice their commitment to fidelity, chastity and the apostolate. Jesus in the Eucharist is the ideal in the education and the training of children, adolescents and young people.

Our Eucharistic Lord is the comfort and support of those who are troubled, of the sick and all who are weeping in the Gethsemane of life. He must be for everyone the incentive to fulfill the testament of divine charity in humble and joyous availability to our brothers and sisters, as the Lord taught by His own example, washing the Apostles' feet."

Jesus is the "Bread of Angels," Saint Thomas tells us, Who has "become the pilgrim's food." The pagan world, seeking to explain away the concrete reality of sin, has forgotten man’s absolute need of God's mercy. Because of our sins, we desperately need mercy. Let us kneel before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and humbly seek His mercy. Like the tax collector who would not dare "to raise his eyes to heaven," let us cry out from the depth of our human weakness: "O God! Be merciful to me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13)!

This is a plea that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, cannot resist. Our Blessed Lord will hear our plea just as He hears everyone who seeks His mercy. Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of Man, will come to you with every grace. He will enrich your life with His gentle goodness. He will grant you with the grace to become holy. Jesus, the Merciful Savior, forgave the woman caught in adultery and the Samaritan woman who had five husbands. To Zacchaeus, Our Lord said: "Today salvation has come to your house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost" (Luke 19:9-10).

In the Lauda Sion, Saint Thomas pleads with the Eucharistic Lord for mercy. May his prayer be ours: "Jesus, Good Shepherd and True Bread, have mercy on us; feed us and guard us. Grant that we find happiness in the land of the living. You know all things and can do all things. You feed us here on earth. Make us citizens in Heaven, coheirs with you and companions of Heaven's citizens. Amen. Alleluia."

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


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