Sunday, April 6, 2008

Recognizing Him in the Breaking of the Bread

Today's Gospel, in the Ordinary Form, is the account of Emmaus. We ask ourselves, do we recognize Him in the Breaking of the Bread (the Mass)? It is for us to appreciate the great gift Christ has left us in the Eucharist. Obviously, our "separated brethren" have completely deprived themselves of this gift. In fact, without the Eucharist, there is no Church.
Those who are apart from the Church languish in some middle ground. They are, according to the Church, only partially initiated. They have received valid baptism (assuming valid words were actually used). They are like parts of the body of Christ that have been severed from the whole, yet hang on by a thread. I pray for them, because I cannot imagine life without the Eucharist.
It is the Eucharist that builds the Body of Christ. It is Holy Communion that causes our communion with Christ and with His Body, the Church. We need to recognize this gift for what it is. Worship of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the greatest gifts we have. Yes, I say gift -- God gave us the gift of being able to worship Him in and by means of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Jews worshiped God in the Temple, but the presence of the Shekinah was a shadow or rather foreshadowing of the Real Presence. St Thomas tells us that the Eucharist acts like a window that opens to us (makes us present to) Heaven. Not only is Christ truly present in the Eucharist, but His whole Mystical Body, especially the Church Triumphant, is present as well. When we are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, we are made present to all of God's angels and saints, because they are with Christ, who is at the right hand of the Father.
Never forget the great gift you have received. Share this gift with others...tell them that you have seen Christ in the Breaking of the Bread.

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