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Father Muench Says...

Reflecting on the Holy Eucharist

June 10, 2020

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today is a perfect time for you and I to talk about the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Now, I’m guessing that you have learned a great deal about the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist over the years. However, I would like to get you to think about your understanding of this Sacrament again. I believe all that our Catholic Church teaches us about the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. I believe that Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. I believe that Jesus instituted this sacrament so that he could be an important and complete part of our lives. Jesus wants to be part of our lives so we recognize and express our gratitude to God. Jesus guides us and leads us to express and recognize our gratitude to God. We should believe that Jesus came to this world, that Jesus was sent to our world by the Father to demonstrate to us God’s great love for us, for each one of us.

Jesus taught us often that God loves us unconditionally. God love us because God is God. God demands nothing of us. Yet, God loves us – and unconditionally. God loves us.

The Holy Eucharist is a unique sacrament. In this sacrament, we are transformed through our union with the Lord. We, Catholics need the Holy Eucharist. This is why these past months have been empty without Holy Communion. For many, this was a time of lost contact with God. Many have forgotten how grateful we should be – we have lost contact with God. Many have forgotten how much God loves us, many have forgotten that through the Blessed Eucharist Jesus has shown us how unconditionally God loves us. Many have lost touch of how a grateful people knows how to live – recognizing how blessed we are.

It is important to remember that one of the important teachings issued by the Second Vatican Council was that Catholics are encouraged to receive Holy Communion each time that we join in the celebration of Mass. Many of you may remember that before the Council, most Catholics did not receive Holy Communion often. In fact. in those days, days that I remember well as a child, many received Holy Communion only once a year. In an effort to encourage Catholics to go to Communion at least once a year, the Church developed the Easter Duty – many regulations to be observed during the Easter Season, including receiving Holy Communion once during the Easter Season.

The Church now encourages the reception of Holy Communion each time we attend and participate in Holy Mass. The Church teaches us of the importance of this sacrament and the powerful part Holy Communion should be in the life of Catholics. The Church teaches us that the Blessed Eucharist is tremendously spiritually important for us all. We are transformed by the Lord. In this Sacrament, we believe that we truly receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are intensely grateful for this sacrament of the Holy Eucharist as we understand that truly this is a demonstration of God’s great love for us. The Lord gives us the strength and the power to live our Catholic life, to witness to the world our recognition of God’s great loves for us and to make our world a better place by the way we life our Christian life.

So, as we again make Holy Communion a regular part of our lives, we must allow Jesus to guide us to a new and loving Spirit. The challenge for us is to recognize and notice that the love of our Lord will lead us, that we must truly follow our Savior, and with the gift of the Lord’s Blessed Eucharist, that we will truly become disciples – new and different followers of Jesus – ready to accomplish so much with God’s help. With the Lord’s presence and help in Holy Communion, this will be a better world for us all.

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