The Eucharist

Meditation for Holy Thursday

We do not always appreciate the gifts of God according to their true worth. Most Christians, unfortunately, would skip a Communion more easily than their breakfast. This is because they have not yet understood the greatness of the Eucharist. Let us implore God to grant us the grace to appreciate this Bread of Heaven according to its true worth. Saint Margaret Mary said, “I would be ready to walk barefoot on a path covered with burning coals to receive a single Communion.” She had the sense of the greatness of divine gifts. Very few among us would be ready to walk on a path of burning coals to go and receive one Communion.

The Eucharist is Our Lord’s ultimate gift; He instituted it on the eve of His Passion, out of love for us, poor humans, so as not to leave us alone in this valley of tears. It is His testament of love; He made Himself our food. This is when He told us, Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends. Jesus gave His life by His ignominious death on the cross. That was not enough for His Infinite Love: He wanted to make Himself bread in order to abide with us, to feed us with His Flesh, feed us with Himself. This is a mystery of love that we shall never understand on earth, but which is nonetheless very real!

Let us thank God for the favor of being His priests, of holding His sacred Body in our hands. This gratitude should be conveyed by respectful piety, great dignity in the presence of Jesus Host. We must take the trouble for God, all the while maintaining a certain simplicity. Why do we have altar cloths, decorations, liturgical vestments? It is because, since we are composed of a body and a soul, exterior things help us to create a favorable climate for piety. Let us act in such a way that our entire behavior may be worthy of the greatness of God whom we serve. Everything should be done in a spirit of faith and adoration, of gratitude towards the sovereign Majesty of God. Let us not receive Communion out of habit; let us never celebrate the Sacred Mysteries out of routine. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is one of the greatest acts a person can perform.

“If the priest knew what he is, he would die of joy over it,” said the Curé of Ars. A person cannot suspect the greatness of the priesthood. The powers God has given to His priests surpass all human conception. As soon as a priest says the words of the consecration, God comes down into the Host; whether the priest be saint or scoundrel, God obeys him at once. Our infinite and almighty God abides among us in the tabernacle; what more could we desire? Whoever has God, has everything, my brothers and sisters. This thought should be enough to make us overflow with joy and gratitude. If we had faith, there would never be any sadness in our souls.

Father John Gregory, Let Us Live Our Magnificat,