Thursday, August 27, 2009

End of the Lectures on the Eucharist

Last night was the last lecture in a series of lectures on the Eucharist at my parish. Even though I loved the Eucharist before it began, I have learned so much and come to a fuller realization of its importance in my Catholic faith.

The Eucharist truly is the powerhouse of my faith and my spiritual life. It was Jesus' sweetness and presence in the Eucharist that drew me back to the Catholic church and to who I am meant to be in this life.

A good percentage of Catholics, less than 60% in most cases I saw in polls on the internet, believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.

This is not surprising. Jesus' teachings on the Eucharist are hard to swallow.

In John Chapter 6 in the Bread of Life Discourse Jesus says:

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink."
After saying this, everyone left Jesus except his disciples because this teaching was so outrageous to them.

It is outrageous. To believe in the Eucharist is outrageous. But the Truth is sometimes outrageous. The lengths that God goes to humble Himself to bring Himself to us is beautiful and outrageous.

May we continue to grow in our faith and our ability to see just how much God loves us, that He is willing to give us the gift of the Eucharist even though most of us, even most Catholics, will not believe.

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