The Mystery of the Eucharist

08-12-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

These five Sundays in the ordinary time (from 17th Sunday to the 21st ) we continue to listen and meditate on John 6. Thus, the Liturgy of the Word invites us to contemplate the mystery of the Eucharist. "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). I would like to invite you to reflect on this verse…

I am the living bread that came down from heaven": The Mystery of Incarnation

The first readings of these Sundays have been inviting us to look at some of the experiences associated with food and drink for the people of Israel. Last Sunday, we heard and read how the Lord God fed the people Israel with manna and quails. In the first reading of today, we see how Elijah was fed by an angel with hearth cake and a jug of water. In both these stories the God-given food is meant to strengthen the recipients for the journey towards the mountain of God. And at that mountain will be an intimate encounter with God. This intimacy is made so powerfully possible for us today in the Eucharist.

"Anyone who eats this bread will live forever": The mystery of the Eucharist

One reason why I am proud to be a Catholic is that as a community we are a very concrete people: both in our experience of faith and the expression of it. Our experience of God is mediated also through the sacraments. In the context of the present reflection, our attention is on the sacrament of the Eucharist. And that experience of God is expressed in our daily lives in concrete situations. This is so obviously seen in the numerous charity works that the church is involved in all over the world. You could also consider the tremendous work of Catholic workers worldwide in poverty alleviation, in the education sector and health care. These are but expressions of our experience of the Bread of Life that offers life to the world. By means of these expressions, we share in Christ's continuing work of redemption. No wonder, Catholics like Mother Teresa and Bishop Belo could be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! Their expressions of faith in concrete situations have offered life to the world. It is well known that even amidst her busy schedule of charity, St. Mother Teresa spent two hours every day in front of the Eucharist. She truly lived a Eucharistic spirituality that was, at the same time, incarnational and redemptive.

May our participation in this Eucharistic celebration invite us to share in the life of God, and then to pass on that life to the world. Let this celebration enable us to live a Eucharistic spirituality.