Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time
January 30-31, 2021
The Eucharist, the real and living presence of God; the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. That is a fundamental belief of the Catholic faith. St Thomas Aquinas says that, “…the sacrament of the Eucharist is the greatest of all the sacraments…” He also says that in the other six sacraments, the power of Christ is on display, in Latin virtus Christi, but in the Eucharist, ipse Christus, Christ Himself, is on display. The Eucharist contains Christ Himself substantially. And yet, in the latest PEW Survey, 69% of people calling themselves Catholic do not believe that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ. I offer you this to ponder; the power of the word of God. Notwithstanding the creation account in Genesis [1:3]; “Then God said…” and it came to be. Notwithstanding the opening line of the Gospel of John [1:1], “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word, was God”. Look at the power of the word of Jesus. In the Gospel of Mark [2:3-12] Jesus heals a paralytic man, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat and go home.” In Matthew [8:1-3] Jesus cures a man of leprosy, “Be made clean”. In Luke [7:14-15] Jesus raised the widow’s dead son, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” And in the Gospel of John [5:1-9] Jesus heals the man who had been blind from birth, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” And there are so many more examples of the power of Jesus’ words. And yet there are many that don’t believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist even though that is exactly what He told us. Look at any of the synoptics gospel accounts of the last supper where Jesus instituted the Eucharist. The words that we hear every Sunday in the Eucharistic Prayer: “He took bread and giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body…” And similarly, with the cup, “Take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood…” Jesus’ own words. When Jesus says something, IT IS. When we gaze upon the consecrated eucharist, we are looking at Jesus Christ. When we receive communion, we take Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity into us. Why do we believe that? Because Jesus himself told us so. We have to lay down our own intellect and acknowledge that God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus said so, so we should believe.