Eucharist is vibrant experience of Jesus - Catholic Courier

Eucharist is vibrant experience of Jesus

“O Lord, I Am Not Worthy” was one of the hymns the sisters taught me and my first Communion class many years ago. “O Lord, I Am Not Worthy” was one of the hymns sung at my ordination. “O Lord, I Am Not Worthy” is a hymn the children sing each year at my anniversary Mass. It is a hymn written in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. The fact that it has been sung so often at important celebrations in my life points to the importance of the Eucharist for my family, my church community and me.
 

When Pope John Paul II declared the Year of the Eucharist, he did so reminding us that the Eucharist occupies a central place not only in our prayer but also in our lives. Think about it for a moment. If you regularly practice your faith, where do you spend most of your time? I would guess that your answer is: At Mass. The Sunday Eucharist is the high point of our week; liturgy documents describe it as the summit and the source.
 

What happens when you gather at Sunday Eucharist? We hear the Word of God proclaimed to us. We share in the bread and wine, blessed and transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. We experience the power of faith as the community gathers together. We are guided by the leadership of a priest who acts in union with his bishop, who functions in union with Rome. It is a powerful moment not only for an individual but also for the community at large. The Eucharist sustains us for the moment and launches us into the week.
 

There are times that we feel as if we leave the Eucharist behind when we leave church. Jesus lives in the tabernacles of our houses of worship — always available for us. But, wait a minute! If you re-read the third paragraph of this article, we are reminded that there is also an understanding that Jesus accompanies us in our journey of life. By his transforming power, we become representatives of Jesus in our day-to-day world. It could be said that we become Eucharist to one another.
 

In commemorating the Year of the Eucharist, it is important to remember that we do not maintain a static view of the Eucharist; rather, it is a vibrant, living experience of Jesus wishing to become a part of our life. In these days of the Easter season, when our daily readings remind us of the many manifestations of the power of the Resurrection in the early church, we are reminded that we continue to manifest that power in our day. The disciples at Emmaus recognized Jesus “in the breaking of the bread.” We, too, recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread and announce his Presence by our reverence and our lives.
 

This year, the Nocturnal Adoration Society, an organization dedicated to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, celebrates its 75th anniversary in the Diocese of Rochester. One of the hallmarks of the nocturnal prayers is the reminder of Jesus in the consecrated host held in exposition, and of Jesus present in the nocturnalists who gather in prayer. We are unworthy but blessed by God to worthiness. The Year of the Eucharist is a gift to our church because it reminds us to pause and recognize the wonderful gift of Jesus’ real presence among us. Jesus asks us to translate that presence into the daily activity that forms our life. Eucharist lives in and through us in the world. The Easter season reminds us that Jesus is alive — the Eucharist tells us that he continues to influence the lives of his followers.
 

Father Mull is pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Canandaigua.

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