Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy Eucharist and Charity

"Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day." (John 6:40).

Christ excludes no one. In a special way, the love
that flows from the Eucharistic table encompasses
the poor and the lowly, the very people the world
excludes. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

"Panis angelicus fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis; manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus, et humilis."

"The Bread of angels has become the
Bread of mankind; This heavenly Bread puts
an end to all images; O wonderful reality!
The poor, the slave, and the humble eat the Lord."

Pope John Paul II, in Dominicae Cenae, No. 5 explained that: "Christian life is expressed in the fulfilling of the greatest commandment, that is to say, in the love of God and neighbor, and this love finds its source in the blessed Sacrament, which is commonly called the sacrament of love. The Eucharist signifies this charity, and therefore recalls it, makes it present and at the same time brings it about."

Do we express an authentic Christian life? Do we really love Jesus in the Eucharist? If so, this love for our Eucharistic Jesus will express itself in love of neighbor. We will not arbitrarily exclude others or treat them with contempt. We will not dismiss them as "unimportant," "irrelevant" or "worthless." We will treat all those we come in contact with as we would have them treat us.


"Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness...Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2: 9,11).

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