Living the Eucharist daily

Body and Blood of Christ 6 June 2021

In the fifth century, St Augustine taught people that if they truly loved the Eucharist they would become what they eat. He believed that if people were not working together and loving each other in their daily lives, then the celebration of the Eucharist has failed to realise its deepest meaning and potential. Centuries later, nothing has changed. The same is true for us gathered here.

At Eucharist, the bread and wine are blessed and broken, poured out and shared, becoming for us the Body and Blood of Christ. In saying ‘Amen’ we commit ourselves to becoming the same in Christ – blessed and broken, poured out and shared, for others. Just as the simple earthly gifts of bread and wine are transformed into Christ, we too are transformed to become Christ in the world.

Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ empowers and sustains us for the mission given to each of us, whereby we are sent out to make a real difference for Christ’s sake in the world, wherever we find ourselves.

Here is a profound example of being Christ in the world:

Near Kathmandu in Nepal, flows the Bagmati River. Hindus believe the Bagmati is holy because it eventually flows into the great Ganges River. Many poor, elderly and dying people flock to the Bagmati. They believe that if their feet are dipped into the river at the time of death, they will be saved. So those who are dying go to extraordinary lengths to find a position near the river, hoping that, when the time comes, someone, perhaps a kind stranger, will help them dip their feet into the water before they take their final breath.

When St Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) became aware of this need, she sent some of her Sisters to the area to serve the poorest of the poor by ensuring their dying wish would be granted. The Sisters found space for a simple hospice, in which they placed cots, blankets and pillows and began caring for the dying. The Sisters provide food and basic medication and, when the time comes, they carry the dying to the river for the necessary death rite.

Very few of us will be called and sent for such acts of compassion and love. But remember what St Teresa said, “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” So, as we move about our daily lives, let us be alert to the needs of others. Countless opportunities present themselves for us to be Christ in the world.

Through their teaching and example, St Augustine and St Teresa challenge us to a radical and dynamic living out of the Eucharist every day of our lives.

David J Hore CSsR

© Majellan Media 2021