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I am the living bread which has come down from Heaven.
anyone who eats this bread will live forever
The Church draws her life from the Eucharist
Proclaiming the death of the Lord ‘until he comes’ entails that all who take part in the Eucharist be committed to changing their lives and making them in a certain way completely ‘ Eucharistic’.
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father,so whoever eats me will draw life from me
From this living bread the Church draws her nourishment (7)
Our spiritual life is sustained, built up, restored and contented by the Eucharist in the same way that the physical body is nourished by food.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.
The Eucharist, as Christ’s saving presence in the community of the faithful and its spiritual food, is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history.(9)
The Eucharist is the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of Himself, of His Person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work.(11)
Truly, in the Eucharist, Jesus shows us a love which goes “to the end” - a Love which knows no measure.(11)
How precious and wonderful is this banquet, which brings us salvation and is full of all delight!
No sacrament contributes more to our salvation than this; for it purges away our sins, increases our virtues, and nourishes our minds with an abundance of all the spiritual gifts. (Pg. 31, V.III)
There exists a union between God and people which is thoroughly real and continuous, a union in which Christians share in the life of God, who is the Father’s giving of himself.
I am the Way the Truth and the Life.
Lord Jesus Christ,
we worship you living among us
in the sacrament of your body and blood.
May we offer to our Father in heaven
a solemn pledge of undivided love.
May we offer to our brothers and sisters
a life poured out in loving service of that Kingdom
where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
We could say much more and still fall short: to put it concisely 'He is all'(Eccles 43)
Many mysteries remain even greater than these,
for we have seen only a few of his works,
the Lord himself having made all things.
God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
To make the Church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us in the millennium which is now beginning, if we wish to be faithful to God's plan and respond to the world's deepest yearnings.
But what does this mean in practice? Here too, our thoughts could run immediately to the action to be undertaken, but that would not be the right impulse to follow. Before making practical plans, we need to promote a spirituality of communion, making it the guiding principle of education wherever individuals and Christians are formed, wherever ministers of the altar, consecrated persons, and pastoral workers are trained, wherever families and communities are being built up.
A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us.
A spirituality of communion also means an ability to think of our brothers and sisters in faith within the profound unity of the Mystical Body, and therefore as "those who are a part of me". This makes us able to share their joys and sufferings, to sense their desires and attend to their needs, to offer them deep and genuine friendship.
A spirituality of communion implies also the ability to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it directly, but also as a "gift for me".
A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to "make room" for our brothers and sisters, bearing "each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy. Let us have no illusions: unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without a soul, "masks" of communion rather than its means of expression and growth.