Lenten Gospel Reflections, Day 43: The Eucharist

During this season of Lent, I will be working through Bishop Robert Barron’s Lenten Gospel Reflections (available through Word on Fire). Each day, I will share the readings and the reflection question, followed by my own thoughts.

April 13, 2022

Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve,
14 went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to such a one, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’ ” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; 21 and as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition, Mt 26:14–25). (2006). Ignatius Press.

How does partaking in the Body and Blood of Jesus at Mass affect you?

Participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, an unbloody offering, a re-presentation to the Father of the Son’s once-for-all sacrifice for us, is essential for the Christian life. The Church “has its basis and center in the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist” (Presbyterorum Ordinis).

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1324

Jesus said, “51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever. 53 Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” (John 6:51, 53-58).

Truly privileged are we who may partake in this most blessed sacrament, eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood. As we consume Him – body, blood, soul, and divinity -, he nourishes us with His life-giving love, filling our souls, making us more like Him, giving us the grace for our salvation. And every time we partake of the Eucharist, we are declaring that we are in the state of grace, made worthy by Christ’s forgiveness (1 Corinthians 11:28) to participate in His promise of eternal life (John 6:53).

Lord, You are the perfect sacrifice, the fulfillment of all the sacrifices that preceded Your Crucifixion, which we have the privilege of joining at every Mass. Let me never take for granted this opportunity to participate in the Divine. Continue to fill me with Your love, that I may share it with those around me.

Sanctus Agnus Dei, Eléison!

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