The Blessed Sacrament…
In today’s reading, Christ institutes the Eucharist:
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” -Mark 14:22-24, NAB
Complete books have been written on the significance and power of the Eucharist, but I will try to condense that into a page or less. One web page cannot possibly reflect the full beauty and depth of the Blessed Sacrament, but then again, few books could either. How do we even begin to explain its life-changing power?
Christ came for one main purpose: to bring a New Covenant to the people. This Covenant was fulfilled, signed, and sealed at the cross, and we celebrate it each and every day at Mass. The New Covenant is the cornerstone of our faith and beliefs, which the Eucharist brings in a very real way.
Some Christian denominations outside of the Catholic Church celebrate Communion as a symbolic gesture, but as Catholics, we believe it is so much more. Through transubstantiation, the bread and wine transform into the actual body and blood of Christ. Read more about the true body, true blood of Christ here.
If we believe that the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ, does that mean that we are re-sacrificing Jesus at daily Mass? No. We are re-presenting His sacrifice at the cross – not represent like a symbol, but re-present as in made present once again.
As the true body and blood of Christ, we have the opportunity to bond with Christ in a very real way. We receive Christ’s body and blood through the Eucharist, and it can truly transform us. For that reason, we must always approach the altar with a reverent, respectful heart.
The Eucharist, along with the other Sacraments, helps us to actively participate in our faith. Faith is more than simply what we believe; it also shapes who we are and what we do. The Sacraments bring grace into our lives. They help us to connect with God in physical ways – connecting the physical to the spiritual.
Holy Communion can make an impact in our lives, each and every week, but only if we allow it to. Instead of going through the motions at Mass every Sunday, we need to open our hearts to the grace that God is offering us. This is God’s purpose for the Eucharist: to bring revitalizing grace into our lives.
So much more could be said about the power and significance of the Eucharist. If there is one thing that we must grasp and hold onto in our faith, it is the power of the Eucharist, as well as the other Sacraments. They are God’s gifts to us. Do we fail to appreciate the gifts we receive like a spoiled child at Christmas, or do we respect and honor these gifts? The choice is up to us.
May you find the same healing, grace, and joy that I have found in the Eucharist, our Blessed Sacrament. It has the power to change your life.