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Seek the Lord for June 2024

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“Do this in memory of me.”

Jesus first spoke these words to His disciples as they gathered with Him in the Upper Room to eat the Passover meal on the eve of His Passion. He continues to speak these words to us at every Mass, at the end of the consecration of the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. As He gives us the great gift of the Eucharist, He also gives us this command: “Do this in memory of me.” There is a twofold meaning to this phrase which would benefit us greatly to reflect upon during these years of Eucharistic Revival.

First, Jesus commissioned the Twelve to do what He had done in the Upper Room. They were to take ordinary bread and wine, which through the power of the Holy Spirit become His Body and Blood, and to share that gift with His disciples as the food which nourishes us for eternal life. Thus, the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11). It is the source because it is the representation of Christ’s saving sacrifice on the Cross and His triumph over sin and death in the Resurrection. The life of the Christian flows out of this mystery of our redemption. The Eucharist is also the summit of Christian life because it is a foretaste of Heaven’s glory, sharing eternal life in communion with God, the angels and all the saints. Through Christ, truly present in the Eucharist, we are sacramentally united now in anticipation of the perfect unity we hope to share in Heaven. With the command to “Do this in memory of me,” Jesus wanted to ensure that His disciples throughout the ages would be spiritually nourished with this sacramental meal.

Second, through these words Jesus directs His disciples, all of us, to conform our entire lives to the pattern of selfless love which He has taught us and which is most evident in the mystery of the Eucharist. “Do this” is not only a command that the Sacrament of the Eucharist be celebrated, but also a reminder that the Lord calls each of us to give of ourselves for the good of others, to unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of the Cross and to live inspired by the hope of sharing in the glory of the Resurrection.

The Christian who lives a Eucharistic life doesn’t just go to Mass and receive Holy Communion. Rather we allow Christ’s Real Presence received in the Eucharist to transform our hearts, minds and wills so that our lives, in an ever- increasing way, radiate God’s love to a world desperately in need of His grace.

The love of God present in the Eucharist is infinite. We can always grow in our awareness of God’s love for us, in our acknowledgement of our need for His mercy and in our dependence on the gifts of His grace. We should never think that we have exhausted this source of divine love which God makes available to us. Nor should we think that we have conformed ourselves to that love as much as we are able. God is never done with us. He has so much in store for us to receive and to become.

May God grant us the grace to live ever more Eucharistic lives, and may this Eucharistic Revival truly be a renewal of His life-giving presence within each of our hearts.

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