Dear Friends in Christ,
Today we celebrate the sacrament which is the source and summit of the Christian life. This phrase ‘source and summit’ is a rather awesome one, isn’t it? It is as if in the blessed Eucharist is contained the entire spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Passover Lamb. The great St. Irenaeus put it so beautifully when he said many centuries ago ‘Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.’ What does it mean to have our way of thinking attuned to the Eucharist?
Our word Eucharist has its roots in the Greek words eucharistein and eulogein, which recall the Jewish blessing – especially during a meal – of God’s works of creation, redemption and sanctification. At the very heart then, of the Eucharist is a celebration of praise and thanksgiving at which Christ is made real and present. This is why, on entering a church where the Eucharist is in the Tabernacle, we acknowledge the real presence of Christ and genuflect in adoration.
We must continue to cultivate a genuine sense of Eucharistic wonder and awe. As we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, he helps us grow in awareness of the fat that it is truly Christ himself whom we are receiving
This understanding that Christ is real and present in the Eucharist cannot be apprehended by the senses but only by faith, and our faith relies on God’s authority, for it was Jesus himself who said: This is my body, which is given for you.’ The eminent Church father St. Cyril said, ‘Do not doubt whether this is true but rather receive the words of the Saviour in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.’ The Eucharist is our greatest gift; it is our richest blessing and most cherished treasure. Nothing in the Christian life compares to it for in the Eucharist is Christ himself, the ‘Godhead here in hiding’.