Eucharist, Not Just a Symbol
“By the Eucharist He feeds His children, not the Manna with which the Jewish People
were fed in the desert, but with His adorable Body and His Precious Blood.”
~St. John Vianney
What distinguishes Catholicism from all of the other religions is our belief in the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. No other religion claims that Jesus Christ is present—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity—when the bread and wine are consecrated during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This gift of God Himself is an unfathomable miracle.
When speaking about the Eucharist, St. John Vianney once said: “Without the Blessed Eucharist there would no longer be any happiness in the world, life would be unbearable. When we receive Holy Communion we receive all our joy and all our good.” We need only watch the news or look around (or even within) us to see that peoples throughout the world and even our loved ones are in great turmoil. Day by day, minute-by-minute, true happiness is disappearing from society. The Pew Research Center recently conducted a poll and shockingly found that only 31% of Catholics in the USA believe that Jesus is Present in the Eucharist. The other 69% think, like Protestants, that the Eucharist is just a symbol. No wonder people today are so unhappy!
To believe that bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Jesus demands that we have faith. Faith is not easy, and we see this in the Israelites who grumbled that they longed for slavery in Egypt (where they ate food to which they were accustomed) as well as the people who walked away when Jesus told them that they must eat His Body and Drink His Blood (Jn 6:53-54) because His teaching was too difficult to believe. Faith also is not something that we just have or bring about by our own powers. Faith is a gift, and we must humbly ask God for it. As St. John Vianney reminds us: everything depends on our humility to ask for the grace to believe; our very happiness—both here on earth and in heaven—ultimately depends on it.
As the spiritual father and pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside, my greatest mission is to lead each of you to what will make you truly happy now and eternally. I sincerely hope that every single parishioner believes what our Catholic faith teaches about the Eucharist. If, however, some of you think that the bread and wine are only a symbol, then I would like to invite you to approach God with humility and ask Him for the grace to believe that He is really and truly present in the Eucharist. For, through such a prayer, you will have nothing to lose and God Himself to gain.
I am very happy to announce that Patricia Porzezinski has been hired as Our Lady of the Wayside’s new parish Administrative Assistant. We are grateful that she has joined our staff, and she is looking forward to meeting parishioners and helping you with your needs. Ms. Porzezinski has already begun her new position, so please be sure to introduce yourselves and say “Hello” when you stop by or call the parish office. To read Ms. Porzezinski’s introduction, click HERE.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 113Tags: #bodyandblood, #eucharist, #frarthur, #frarthurmarat, #olwparish, #reflection