This rosary meditation focuses on The Fifth Luminous Mystery — The Institution of the Eucharist. This mystery goes to the core of the Catholic faith; that the bread and wine at Mass actually are TRANSFORMED into the Body and Blood of Christ. For Catholics, the Eucharist is not just a symbol, but is actually the very real presence of Jesus. The consecration of the bread and wine is no different than if Jesus, in human form, came walking through the doors of the church. And yet many of us receive Jesus regularly during Communion without appreciating the enormity of this gift.
The consecration requires one of the largest acts of faith of believing Catholics. After all, it is hard to believe that a small wafer and some wine actually is Jesus Christ. There are many times when we receive the Eucharist on auto-pilot. Most of us probably wait in line, look around at other people and enjoy the music as if we were waiting for food in a cafeteria. But if Jesus, in His human form, walked through the door and spoke to us, He would have our complete attention. We would be reverent and attentive to everything He said. And yet, do we show that same reverence to His Body and Blood in the Eucharist? For most of us, no matter how hard we try, the answer would probably be no. If we really had even the faintest idea of the true nature of the Eucharist, we would not receive it so casually.
Since the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, we physically embrace Jesus as He becomes part of us and we become part of Him every time we partake in the great, spiritual feast. We embrace Jesus by becoming sacred vessels of His Body and Blood. Think of the Eucharist as the fuel that empowers us to do God’s will and face life’s challenges. Like any living creature, we need energy to survive and flourish. Without it, we are like a car with an empty tank — unable to do anything or going anywhere. The Eucharist is spiritual energy that we need in order to continue on the road to Heaven.
How do we become part of Jesus every time we receive Communion? The word “communion” implies “community.” When we receive the Eucharist we are coming together as a community of believers in Jesus Christ. Receiving the Eucharist is an affirmation in our belief and faith in Jesus’ teachings and a public commitment that we will follow His will. Since the Church is the Lord’s instrument on earth, following Jesus and accepting His will means following the Church and Her teachings. As a community of believers, we each do our small part in carrying out His will and bringing His peace to the world.
When we pray this mystery, let us reflect and meditate that:
- We have the faith and belief that we really do receive Jesus Christ through the Eucharist. Let us show the Eucharist the same reverence and respect that we would show Jesus if He came to us in human form. May we also rejoice in the great gift of the Eucharist since through it Jesus reveals His presence in our lives. May we take advantage of the invitation to be part of Jesus’ community.
- We treat our bodies, minds, and souls as sacred vessels that carry Jesus throughout the world. Let us not block and mask His presence through the “dirt” of sin. Let us pray for all of those who cannot see Jesus in their lives or let His light shine fourth due to the “dirtiness” of their souls. May we always have the faith and courage to seek forgiveness and clean ourselves through Confession.
- We accept the obligation of being part of the Catholic community when we participate in Communion. We are all called to be members of His one Church. We are called to learn, accept, promote, and defend Her teachings. Let us pray that we have the peace of mind and patience to listen to God either through the Church’s teachers or in the stillness of prayer and do whatever He asks of us.
- We pray for all those making their first Holy Communion. My nephew is making his soon (yeah!). May this serve as an important step in their faith journey as they are introduced to another one of God’s great sacraments.