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Holy Eucharist not Church invention

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By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

 

An elderly lady, accompanied by a young doctor, was being wheeled into a room in preparation for her surgery. Visibly nervous, she blurted out, “Doc, please be gentle with me. This is my first time to be operated on.”

The youthful surgeon glanced at her and said, “Don’t worry, madam. This, this… is also my first time to do an operation.”

* * *

When a doctor tells you not to worry — even though it’s his first time to do an operation — and you believe, that’s making a leap of faith, a human faith.

In the Last Supper after Jesus prayed over and blessed the bread and wine, He told His apostles to believe that the bread and wine were turned into His Body and Blood even though they did not understand how they became life-giving food and nourishing drink. That’s spiritual faith. Jesus said further: “Do this in memory of  Me” (Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:25).

* * *

REAL PRESENCE. That’s what the Lord commanded and that’s why Holy  Thursday is called Maundy  Thursday because it commemorates the “commands” (mandata in Latin) which Jesus gave us.

Thus, the Holy Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Himself before He died. The Mass, therefore, is not an invention of the Church nor an idea of the popes.

But  Christ  wanted to remain present, too, to  be  with  us PHYSICALLY and not  just  to be remembered.

* * *

WASHING OF THE FEET. The other command of Jesus is expressed by His dramatic, moving, and puzzling  act of washing the feet of His disciples. “But  if  I washed  your feet — I who am Teacher and Lord — then you must  wash each other’s feet.”

* * *

Christ’s dramatic act illustrates humble service which should be exemplified by  all, but especially those who are vested with authority like  government  officials, heads of firms and  organizations, parents, bishops and priests.

* * *

EFFECT OF EUCHARIST NOT AUTOMATIC. How  come that some people receive the Body and Blood  of  Christ in Holy Communion regularly  and  nothing  happens?  Why is there no progress in their conduct and spiritual lives?

We have to remember that the  effect  of the Eucharist does not  work  automatically.  We are  people,  not robots.  God respects our FREE  WILL,  albeit distorted  at  times.

* * *

During Christ’s time, many  people  turned away, unaffected by His presence.  A classic example is Judas Iscariot, one of His closest followers. Jesus, His master, let Him go even if He knew he would betray Him.

* * *

This explains why, despite Christ’s redemptive act for us, there are unscrupulous people like murderers, terrorists, drug pushers, human traffickers and hardened criminals.

* * *

GUARANTEE OF ETERNAL LIFE. Finally, the reception of Christ’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion guarantees eternal life.

Jesus declared: “He who eats My flesh and  drinks My  blood  has life eternal and I will raise him up on  the  last day” (Jn 6:53).

If Jesus’ Flesh and Blood guarantee eternal life after death, wouldn’t you do everything to seek it in order to achieve eternal life?

* * *

PRACTICE: Appreciate the Holy Mass by faithfully, regularly attending it, thus making efforts to become better Christians.

* * *

‘7 LAST WORDS.’ The SVD Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. will telecast live on ABS-CBN Channel 2 the “7 Last Words” tomorrow, Good Friday, March 30 at 12-3 p.m. from the Shrine of Jesus, the Divine Word, at Christ the King Seminary compound, E. Rodriguez Blvd., QC. It will be SIMULCAST on DZMM teleradyo Channel 26 in Metro Manila and TFC (The Filipino Channel) abroad.

Everybody is invited to attend the presentation or watch on TV.

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