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Father Muench Says...

Transformed by the Eucharist

August 30, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to write to you again about the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. I want to continue to encourage you to continue to develop a deeper appreciation of and love for the Holy Eucharist as dedicated Catholics. Won’t you join me in developing a proper love and devotion for the Holy Eucharist?

Speaking for myself, I truly love the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. I love every opportunity I have for celebrating Mass. I pray often that the Lord helps me to find ways to bring others to a deep respect and love for the Holy Eucharist. This sacrament is transformative for all of us as Catholics.

I believe the Mass is one of God’s greatest gifts to his Church and to each of us, the people of God. This sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the heart and soul of the life of our Catholic Church. Personally, I have great gratitude to my God for choosing me to be a priest and to celebrate the Holy Mass; I am allowed to bring the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion, Body and Blood, to the people of God.

When we talk about this sacrament we use the word “transubstantiation.” Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, a priest calls upon the action of the Holy Spirit during Mass and Jesus becomes present in the bread and wine placed on the altar at the offertory.

Here are the words that the Council of Trent used to teach about the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist: Under the consecrated species of bread and wine, Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real and substantial manner – is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, Our Savior.

This is what we, Catholics, believe. However, for many it seems unbelievable. The reception of Holy Communion indicates that Jesus wants to be one with us, united in a special way, spiritually and physically. Each time we receive Holy Communion we are transformed. We truly become a new person, and we do it repeatedly. This sacrament is a source of new life and strength for each of us. This sacrament is not meant to be some sort of reward for the disciples of Jesus. This Holy Eucharist brings to us God’s help and support, strengthening us as disciples of the Lord and filling our lives with the love and peace of Our God. In the Eucharist, we are empowered to make this world a better place.

Each Mass is a constant source of power to make us new and alive – dedicated in every way to the Lord Jesus Christ and united in every way to the Lord. Each time we leave the church after celebrating Mass, we are a new and different person. We have spent time with the Lord; we have received Holy Communion. Of course, we must be different. Our time with the Lord is transformative. We must be more dedicated, more active, more enthusiastic as we prepare to live this day alive in our Catholic faith.

So, I want to encourage you to allow this magnificent sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to be a part of all you are and do. Let the Lord come alive in you, transforming all you do by the grace of the Holy Eucharist.

Personally, I know I expect so much from the Lord each time I celebrate Mass. So, I take the time to prepare well for the time when I go to the altar for Mass. I want to make this spiritual experience to be truly profitable for my own spiritual life and for those in the congregation. I want us all to become new each time we receive the Blessed Eucharist in Holy Communion.

I pray that you will make the Holy Eucharist an important part of your spiritual life. This is truly the prayer of our Catholic Church. I believe that this is truly the way in which Our Lord will make each parish strong and active, united with the Lord and with each other, and bringing new love and peace to each of our communities.

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