For my column this week, I simply share with you the words of Fr. Francis J. Ripley about the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament:
Jesus Christ is really present as Man and as God in the Holy Eucharist, consecrated during every Mass and reserved in the tabernacles of Catholic Churches. His Body is there, his Blood is there, his Soul is there, his Godhead is there—the God who lived in endless ages alone before any creature was made, the God who created the angels, men, and all the material universe...He, that same God, is present with his human nature, really, truly and substantially under the appearances of bread and wine.
The child who lay on Mary's breast at Bethlehem, the boy who played in the fields of Nazareth, the youth who stood by Joseph to learn his trade, the working man who supported his Mother by his daily toil, the preacher and the wonder-worker of Galilee and Judea, the Redeemer who suffered and died for us, he is the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Sacraments, the very heart of Catholicism.
If only all could understand the wonder of the Eucharist, which brings Jesus as he is, whole and entire, human and divine, into the sphere of their present lives. If only they could realize that by this means they could touch him, talk to him, contemplate him, or busy themselves about him more closely, more intimately by far than did his dear friends at Bethany! Just as really as the Jews of Nazareth nearly two thousand years ago, people today are living in Jesus' town. He is in our midst as he was in the midst of those who conversed with him in the flesh and beheld the sweet gentleness of his countenance. We are no less fortunate than those who knelt beside his crib at Bethlehem or heard his youthful voice at Nazareth or accompanied him on the weary journeys of his public life. He is here, with us, just as he was there, with them.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us this tremendous gift: His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. He is truly, really, actually, substantially present in our churches in the tabernacle, on the altar, and in the monstrance. If we want Him in our lives, let us never be afraid or hesitant to approach Him frequently.
Have a great week!