“For this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”Matthew 26:28
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been missing the Eucharist lately. Especially today, I’m longing for the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. My heart is breaking because we can’t go to Mass this Holy Thursday, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist, but at least for me, the next best thing is praying the Spiritual Communion prayer and reflecting on the beauty of the Eucharist.
Jesus told us that to be his disciples, we have to eat his body and drink his blood. It’s how he continues to abide with us after this Ascension, and it’s non negotiable. When he celebrated Passover with his disciples, he offered them the first opportunity to partake of his Body and Blood. At the Last Supper, the twelve apostles were the first ones to partake in his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. They were the first ones at the first Mass. Out of his everlasting love, Jesus constantly gives us the gift of himself. He did this not only through his Passion on Good Friday, but also on Holy Thursday in the gift of the Eucharist.
Both of these sacrifices express his love for us in big ways. Laying down his life for us is huge and visible, so we always associate his love with the cross. Although we receive the Eucharist often, sometimes we can take it for granted. It took me a long time until I realized that the Eucharist was and still is a sacrifice and Jesus’ gift of himself. The next time you go to Mass, take a moment to let this reality sink in. The God of the Universe, who doesn’t need anything and is totally fine on his own, humbles himself into the form of bread and wine at the command of his priests so that he can be with his children. He doesn’t do this because he has to, but because he wants to. He loves us more than we’ll ever realize in this life, but receiving the Eucharist is a good place to start.
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At the Last Supper, Jesus took plain bread and regular wine and made it his Body and his Blood. He does the same with us. He enters into our brokenness, our suffering, and our anxieties to redeem us through them. The Eucharist is how we follow Jesus the most closely. This holy communion is the most intimate way to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. Every time we participate in the Mass, we take part in the Last Supper. Because Jesus exists outside of time, we participate in the Last Supper just as Jesus’ disciples did. By receiving the Eucharist, we play our part in salvation history. As his disciples, we have to eat Jesus’ Body and drink his Blood. Although we might not be able to do this today, we can still remember him and remember the beautiful sacrifice and act of love that the Eucharist entails.
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