Who is the humblest person you know? Maybe it is a mom who cleans the bathroom for the family and is never thanked, or a dad who goes to an unrewarding job to provide for his family, or a soldier who willingly gives his all for his country and the people he loves.
These humble people find their perfect model of humility in Jesus Christ and His Mother, Mary. Jesus calls us to the humility that brings service and life to others through the holy sacrifice of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. The following is a summary of John Paul II‟s Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia De Eucharistia – The Church of the Eucharist.
In Chapter I, “The Mystery of Faith,” we learn that Jesus is the Eucharist, the center of our faith; because he has given himself and all that he has accomplished in the celebration of the Eucharist. We are called to give ourselves completely to Jesus by professing and living the totality of our Catholic faith.
In Chapter II, “The Eucharist Builds the Church,” we learn that all who partake of Christ are built up in faith, hope and love, because it is the sign of our unity with Jesus Christ and everything he has taught us through his Catholic Church.
Chapter III, “The Apostolicity of the Eucharist and of the Church,” refers to the fact that the Lord Jesus entrusted the Eucharist to the Apostles, “Do this in memory of me,” and sent the Holy Spirit upon them to carry out their apostolic mission to the Church of which she “continues to be taught, sanctified and guided by the Apostles until Christ‟s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of Bishops assisted by priests, in union with the Successor of Peter, the Church‟s supreme pastor.”
Chapter IV, “The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion,” outlines Christ‟s discipline of being visibly in union with the Catholic Church, as well as spiritually through charity, in order to receive the Eucharist. That is to say, we must be free of any contrary belief, serious sin and have fasted one hour from any food, gum and drink (except water and medicine) before receiving Holy Communion.
Chapter V, “The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration,” is an account of the simplicity and solemnity of Jesus‟ self-gift to us in the Eucharist. “The Eucharistic Banquet is truly a ‘sacred’ banquet, in which the simplicity of the signs conceals the unfathomable holiness of God.” This truth has inspired authentic art and a Christian culture of beauty of which the shepherds of the Church must continue to guide, especially with regard to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. “Liturgy is never anyone‟s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated.” We humbly receive it because Christ has won it for us by his death and resurrection.
Chapter VI, “At the School of Mary, „Woman of the Eucharist,‟” completes this beautiful Encyclical Letter because she is the perfect disciple of Christ. God chose Mary who perfectly followed God‟s plan and so received Christ as the first living tabernacle, gave him back to God at the foot of the cross, and offered herself up to God from whom eternal love and wisdom, beauty and happiness flow.
May we be like that humble disciple, Mary, in worshipping and adoring Jesus Christ who is God Incarnate in the living and Holy Eucharist.
May God bless those young disciples who celebrate their first Holy Communion this Sunday, April 30, 2023: Lucas Frederick, Griffin Marquardt, Jase Mirsberger, Inez O‟Reilly, Sophia Payne, Riley Peterson, Eli Roschen, Isaac Ryan, Alayna Voth and Iker Monjaraz-Garcia and Ximenia Gomez (who attend the Latino Community Sunday Mass at St. Joseph in Red Wing). May God bless their parents and catechists as well.
Peace in the Risen Christ, Fr. Thomas McCabe