Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lent: Luminious Thursdays

The fifth Luminous Mystery is the Institution of the Eucharist. From this mystery we are to gain the fruit of adoration. Here's my take.

The other day, a discussion came up between me and a few of my co-workers. I'm the only practicing Catholic of the group. Our conversation wandered until one of my co-workers brought up Christ's words to "Do this in memory of Me". As a devoted Non-Catholic Christian, his opinion was that he doesn't need to participate in a communion service often because he seldom forgets Jesus. I'm definitely not a quick thinking kind of person, so I didn't say anything. However, the thought stuck in my brain as a refrain.

My non-Catholic Christian friend's comment that he doesn't need communion to remind him of Christ emphasized for me, the rift between our faiths. You see, as Catholics it isn't that we constantly forget Christ. Instead, we know we constantly need the support the Eucharist can give us. We take Jesus's words literally. He offered Himself as our food and drink. To memorialize His great Sacrifice and take Him at His word, we invoke His name each and every time we join for Mass. As the priest says the words of Consecration and the veil of time lifts. The priest is actually a co-celebrant in the Greatest Sacrifice ever made.

Some of our non-Catholic brethren think Catholics are too focused on the death of Christ and we forget about the purpose behind it. In reality, you cannot separate the two. Our salvation was bought for us by the blood of Christ. Without His suffering, death, and subsequent Resurrection we would have no Salvation. Much like Paul said in his letter to Timothy, faith and works are BOTH necessary for salvation. The same is true of Christ's suffering being as necessary to our salvation as His Resurrection.

At each Mass, we call to mind not only Christ's life and teachings (the Liturgy of the Word), but also His suffering and death, prefaced with His gift of His Body and Blood (the Liturgy of the Eucharist). The two are intricately melded together as the readings in the Liturgy of the Word often contain references to Christ's suffering. The words of Consecration are a direct quotation of Christ's words at the Last Supper. Throughout both parts of the Mass we are also reminded of our Salvation through Christ.

This remembrance of Christ is not meant as if we're going to forget Christ. Instead it is meant for us to adore Him through imitation of Him. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Just as thinking about or looking at photos of your friends and family doesn't replace actually seeing them and visiting them, neither does just thinking of Christ replace worshiping Him. Each time we visit with Christ whether at Mass or adoration of the Eucharist, we are getting closer to Him and gaining God's graces to continue with our journey to Him

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