I hope that those of you who participated in the Revival enjoyed it thoroughly. My favorite part was when the spectacular revivalist talked about the Eucharist on Tuesday night. He actually used the phrase “center of our life”. I was hooting and hollering! One of the priests who knows about my C.O.O.L. pamphlet on the Eucharist jokingly said to me, “did he get that from you?” Here is the section of the pamphlet that specifically focuses on the Eucharist as the center of our lives (C.O.O.L.):
Think of or even make a list of 10 people, places or things that are most important to you. Family members, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, the beach, sentimental items, other valuable possessions, money, clothes, DVDs, and car might top your list. Now, take a few minutes (or longer), and rank these items 1-10 in importance to you (1 is most important).
Why are these things most important to you? What do you find or receive in each one? Most likely, you come in contact with them regularly, maybe even daily. If it is a person, what is it about her that you find attractive? What are you looking for from her? How often do you talk with or see him? What do you experience in his presence? If it is a thing, why do you use it? What does it give you? How often do you use it? If it is a place, why is it so special? The people or things that are most important to us say a lot about who we are.
Ultimately, there is one thing we are all looking for: happiness. We want to be truly happy each day and have chosen these people or things to get us there. Some of them help us to find happiness, and some of them don’t. There are some things in our lives that are not good for us, but we still go to them regularly. For example, an alcoholic might have listed bourbon as one of his 10 things because it takes him away from his problems. While it may bring him temporary pleasure, it doesn’t bring him true happiness.
Now, if he didn’t make your top ten list, please add God as a late entry. Specifically, write “the Eucharist.” Take a moment and compare Jesus Christ to all of the items on your list. Jesus died for you. The Eucharist is a living memorial of what Jesus did for you 2000 years ago on the Cross, and what he does for you every day. He gives you his life. He gives you love. He gives you true happiness. No other person, place, or thing can give you what the Eucharist gives you.
The Eucharist is c.o.o.l. (center of our lives). It is truly the flesh and blood of him who created us and saved us. He is as alive in the Eucharist as you and I are alive. He wants to be number one on your list. He is always there for you. He made you. He knows everything about you. Everything you’re going through. Every pain, struggle, joy, stress, disappointment, fear, success, hope, and love you’re experiencing. He wants to experience them with you. He wants you to experience them with him. He wants to be a very real part of your life. He is waiting for you in the Eucharist.
There are so many things that Fr. Roy joyfully proclaimed about the Eucharist that I hope are deeply embedded in your minds and hearts:
- In Holy Mass and especially in the Consecration, the priest steps into not only the shoes of Christ, but his whole person! This is the meaning of in persona Christi. The priest acts in the person of Christ.
- The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a re-presentation of Calvary. (It’s not that Jesus dies over and over again – Scripture says he died “once and for all”. Rather, his sacrifice on the Cross is re-presented by the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of bread and wine. And, it’s His same Body and Blood, as He says in John 6:51, the only difference being that it’s His risen Body and Blood.)
- Mass is also a re-presentation of the Last Supper in that we hear the words Jesus said and honor his command to “do this in memory of me”.
- Mass is a banquet and a meal as well, centered on the Bread of Life which I think Fr Roy called “the greatest food in the world”.
- The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
May you know the peace of Christ,