The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is, one of the sacraments that we can receive every day after our First Holy Communion day.
Many people have a misconception that the Holy Eucharist is merely a symbol of Jesus’ body or the last supper. Some consider it just a sharing of a meal in remembrance of the Last Supper of Jesus.
Some protestant churches call it the ‘Lord’s supper’ where everyone shares a meal at the end of their service. They serve little pieces of biscuits and non-alcoholic drinks. This however, is not exactly what is meant by the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
During a Catholic Mass celebrated by an ordained priest, the bread and wine is truly transformed into Jesus’ body and blood. This mystery and sacrament was instituted by Jesus himself, when he was in the company of His Apostles. Some Catholic priests find it hard to comprehend with this marvellous grace or gift given to them during the anointing of their hands at their ordination.
Here are some recordings in the Bible about Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist:
In the Gospel of John Chapter 6:54 Jesus says,
“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day”.
According to the Gospel of Luke Chapter 22:19-20. He took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them saying,
“This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me”.
And likewise the cup after supper, saying,
“This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Chapter 11:26 he says,
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”.
Therefore in the Catholic Church, when we receive the Holy Eucharist, we in fact receive Jesus’ Body and Blood. We come into communion with Jesus through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Our humanity is mingled with God’s divinity.
In the Gospel of John Chapter 6: 56 Jesus says,
“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”.
Giving Jesus to us, was God’s way of showing His intimate love for us. God found a way of staying with us all the time, through Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This is why receiving the Holy Eucharist is a ‘Sacrament’. The truth of this is revealed to many unbelievers through Eucharistic Miracles that take place around the world.
When you or your child is about to receive Holy Communion, your strong belief that you are receiving Jesus’ body takes you to a state of grace. Words cannot explain the joy you feel.
Imagine the king of Kings or the one, who loves you most, is visiting your home! How would you prepare for this visit? What excitement will you feel? How honoured will you be to have this special guest? Do you feel the same way when you prepare and receive Jesus through Holy Communion?
If you receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist in a ‘wishy-washy’ way or just for ‘name-sake’, as everybody is receiving, then you would not be in a state of grace. But if you receive Jesus fully conscious and with all your love, you will experience the miracle within. You will be in a state of grace that you would not want to come out of that joyful feeling.
Before the Virgin Mary Mother of Jesus appeared to the children in Fatima, it is recorded that an Angel prepared them for this encounter. One day, the Angel brought them Holy Communion. People had witnessed the children receiving communion. However, before the angel gave them Holy Communion, the Holy Eucharist was suspended in the air, and the angel fell prostrate worshiping Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Similarly, St. Augustine in his writings states:
“The Angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass”.
St. John Chrysostom states:
“When mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels, who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar”.
That is the reverence shown by Angels.
Then how much more should we worship and adore Jesus who comes to us through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist? Jesus chooses to come to us in spite of our sinfulness due to His unconditional love.
We Catholics are so blessed and fortunate that we can receive Jesus through the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. We parents should teach our children to never take for granted - the reception of Holy Communion.
For more information, parents, God parents, catechists and carers of children can click on ‘Preparing Your Child for their First Holy Communion’.
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