The Eucharist–The Sacrifice of Christ
"I want to stress the centrality of the Eucharist for the life of the world to which the Lord has sent us as the seed of renewal. If the Church returns to her Eucharistic source, she will recover her authentic nature and strength, and that will relativize the urgent debates over organizational issues while it will highlight consecration to God and fraternal sharing that will enable her to overcome fragmentation and division. Moreover, the powerful presence of the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist keeps the Mass from being reduced to a gathering for a convivial meal. The Sacrifice stands for ever as a sign of contradiction, and is the place where we can verify the degree of our conformity to the radical message of Christ, in our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters." (Pope John Paul II, Jan. 2002)
After the Last Supper, Jesus went to the garden to pray. As He prayed, He began to sweat blood because He realized that the gift of the Holy Eucharist which He had just given to humankind would be rejected by so many and appreciated by so few. He saw down through the ages how many would walk away from His Eucharistic love and not even bother to come to Mass on Sunday. He saw how, in so many tabernacles of the world, He would be left alone and forgotten. He saw how few would believe in His Real Presence and fewer still would respond to His appeal to be loved day and night in the Blessed Sacrament. He saw how most people would live their lives as if He were not here--God living among His people in the Blessed Sacrament. He comes to bring so many graces and blessings, yet so few come to receive them. "He came into His own, yet His own received Him not" (Jn. 1:11).
What can be compared to His sacrifice? Jesus gave up His Body on the Cross for love of you, that He may give His Body to you in the Holy Eucharist, making Himself one with you forever in everlasting glory. Like wheat which is beaten, broken and crushed before it becomes bread, Jesus was willing to be beaten, broken and crushed in His passion that He may become for us "the Living Bread come down from heaven." "The bread I give you is My flesh for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51).
Through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, we have the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Good Friday follows Holy Thursday because the passion and death of Jesus was the price that He paid so that we may have divine, immortal, and everlasting life in Him in the new and everlasting covenant of the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist flows from our Lord's passion. He poured out His very last drop of Blood on the Cross so that He may fill you with His divine love each time that you receive Him in Holy Communion. What a wonderful opportunity we have to thank Him for this great Gift! Your sacrifice of spending an hour with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration thanks Him for all the sufferings He endured to give us the gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist. Your sacrifice of spending one hour with Him each week in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration will gain these graces for those who are far from Jesus, and bring them back to Him in the Blessed Sacrament. (From our A-2 Pamphlet)
"The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease." (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, Ch. I, Sec. 2, Art. 3)
"The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer.... We are not called to great penances, and many would interfere with our duty, but the [holy] hour is our daily sacrifice in union with Christ." (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)
"The Eucharist is a never-ending sacrifice. It is the Sacrament of love, the supreme love, the act of love." (St. Katharine Drexel)
"Lourdes, where non-Catholics imagine that we accord Mary undue eminence, is no doubt that place in the world where Christ in the Eucharist is most glorified. It is the only place in the world where, under the veil of the Host, Christ mingles in the midst of so many rich people and is as closely pressed by them as He was during His mortal life. His mother prays for these bodies and these souls, and Christ cures them. The procession of the Blessed Sacrament in Lourdes starts from the Grotto to show that Jesus was given to us by the Virgin. And she who stood on Golgotha, at the foot of the Cross of the condemned Man, stands here by the side of the King of eternal glory." (François Mauriac, Holy Thursday)
"It is there in His Eucharist that He says to me: I thirst, thirst for your love, your sacrifices, your sufferings. I thirst for your happiness, for it was to save you that I came into the world, that I suffered and died on the Cross, and in order to console and strengthen you I left you the Eucharist. So you have there all My life, all My tenderness." (Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress of the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice)
"I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament....There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, that every man's heart desires." (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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