The Year of the Eucharist by Deacon Chuck Hoppe
We started the Year of the Eucharist at the Feast of Corpus Christi, on 3 June 2021, four months ago. At that time, we thought we were coming out of arguably one of the most stressful years only to see a relapse due to variants of the COVID 19 virus. This year is an emphasis on the Eucharist, the ‘source and summit’ of our faith. Not that the Eucharist isn’t important every day of our life. So many could only watch the mass as we live streamed. So many could not come to mass and receive the eucharist. It is necessary to refocus on just what the Eucharis should mean to us and why is it so important to receive Christ in the Eucharist. The Gospel of John [Jn 6:55-56] Jesus tells us very succinctly that the eucharist is truly Jesus’ flesh and blood; in the Eucharist we receive Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity. Jesus is truly present. I read something from Bishop Barron, “Thus, just as food and drink are required to the sustenance of biological life, so the ‘spiritual food’, the Eucharist, is necessary for the sustenance of the life of grace.” Grace, that free gift from God. We all need it and it is through the sacraments that we receive it. It is in the sacrament of the Eucharist that we are most intimately connected to Jesus. It is through the Eucharist that we most closely interact with Jesus Himself. It is in the Eucharist that heaven and earth meet; every time the mass is celebrated. Why would anyone not want to come and receive the Eucharist? St Pope John Paul II said, “This is the wonderful truth, my dear friends, the Word, which became flesh two thousand years ago, is present today in the Eucharist.” He reminds us how real Jesus is and how close He is to us. St Pope John Paul went on to say, “From this moment on, live the Eucharist fully; be persons for whom the Holy Mass, Communion, and Eucharistic adoration are the center and summit of their whole life.” This is a year to reconnect to the Eucharist. The question, the challenge is this, is the Eucharist as important to us to receive, as it was for Jesus to give to us?