By Emily Millan
In the most reverent and simplest way possible, I want to take a layman’s stab at explaining the Eucharist. Call it Christ-For-Dummies, if you will. I’m no theologian; I have not studied in the Vatican or received a master’s degree in Catholic studies.
But if someone were to ask me about the Eucharist? This is what I’d say:
It’s Jesus, bro.
I mean, it is literally Christ, revealed. It is His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity contained within an ordinary piece of bread. It’s the greatest gift ever freely given, available for all to receive.
We have fallen so far from understanding What and Who this is.
I see it at church on Sundays. I see it in people’s reverence (or lack thereof) during Communion. I see it in the attitudes and way in which we experience and encounter God in Mass.
We have lost the captivating wonder, and awe of the Eucharist.
“The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but Heaven itself.”St. Peter Julian Eymard
“If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”St. Maximillian Kolbe
Yes, the Eucharist may appear to be an ordinary, tasteless, piece of cardboard. But Heaven looks upon the Eucharist as the Highest, Most Revered and Beautiful Person in all the world. It is Christ, who chooses to humble Himself and become a simple, ordinary piece of bread.
How do we find ourselves worthy of such majesty? This beauty? This Love, this Mercy, this Life? How is it that the Lord would make Himself ready and waiting for us to receive Him?
He truly wants to be as close to us as possible. He wants us so desperately, that He created a way for us to receive Him – a way that we could be one with Him. Fully. Completely. Beautifully.
We need to regain our wonder and awe of how He loves us and reveals His love to us; how He gives Himself to us, and how ordinary He becomes so that we may encounter Him.
Perhaps we need to rethink how ready we are to receive Him. Have we gone to confession recently? Are we in a state of mortal sin? Are our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls truly ready to encounter our Lord and Savior so intimately? So, here are a few concrete ways that we can prepare ourselves better for the incredible gift of the Sacrament of Communion.
I highly suggest receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as possible. Confession is an encounter with Divine Mercy, and it brings our souls back to its most purest form – a form that is created for and worthy of receiving Christ.
And when we do receive Him – how are we in doing so? Have we lost the captivating wonder of His gift and just go through the motions? Do we place ourselves in a physical position – kneeling, standing, receiving in hand or on the tongue – that consciously recognizes His Majesty? I want to challenge you in your way of thinking. This is God. Physically. Tangibly. Completely. Totally. How would the saints and angels receive Him? Let us mirror that heavenly reverence for the Lord, whose love is so deep that He crosses heaven to meet us on earth in this way.
This God – in all His power, majesty, and glory – within our midst.
Let us remember it. Let us have this in mind when we draw close to receiving Him in the communion line. Let us keep this as our focus as we encounter Him in this mystery. Let us love Him all the better and all the more because of it.
So what is the Eucharist? It’s not a question of what; it is a question of Who.
It’s Jesus, bro. And how blessed we are to have Him?