By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Banilad, Cebu City
AS we are now inching our way toward the celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress 2016, let me just comment a little on the prayer prepared for such big event.
Itâ€™s a beautiful prayer that should be on the lips of all of us, meaning it with all our heart, because it contains precious truths that we should not forget, and petitions that we should make. I highly recommend that it be prayed as often as we can, either individually or as a family. Iâ€™m sure it will go a long way in helping us spiritually.
The prayer goes this way: â€œLord Jesus Christ, our hope of glory, / You are the fulfillment of the Fatherâ€™s plan to save all humanity, / You are the mystery hidden from the ages / and from generations past, now manifested to us. / You abide in your Church and in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.
â€œAs we celebrate the Holy Eucharist and receive your Body and Blood, / grant us the awareness that your presence in us / urges us to continue your saving mission in the world.
â€œSend us your Holy Spirit, / that He may lead us to walk humbly / with the poor and the marginalized, / in the company of Mary, your most holy mother and ours. /
â€œO Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, / To you be all honor and glory and praise / in the unity of the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.â€
I would say that itâ€™s a prayer worth meditating on and memorizing, so we get to have a deepening awareness of the nature, meaning and purpose of this most sublime sacrament, and so we can recite it as often as we can, especially before or after attending Holy Mass, or when we visit the Blessed Sacrament, or just about anytime we feel the need for it.
Let us try to spread the prayer around, encouraging others to pray it also and, in fact, to make it their own. As we approach the IEC 2016, it would be nice that we as a people grow in our faith, understanding, love and devotion for the Holy Eucharist.
The prayer is already a good instrument for catechesis. It tells us that Christ is â€œour hope of glory,â€ since he is our Savior who will bring us back to where we come from and to whom we belong. This after we have strayed away from God due to our sin.
Christ, who is made present in the Eucharist and whose merits of his redemptive work are offered to us through the Eucharist, is indeed the fulfillment of Godâ€™s plan â€œto save humanity.â€
We need to be most keenly aware of this tremendous truth that should give us great joy. We have to be more aware of what great treasure is given to us in the Eucharist. We have to do everything to ward off the usual danger of getting used to the Eucharist, considering it as one more thing in our life.
The Eucharist should be the source and summit of our Christian life, as one Church document would describe it. Another saint described it as the root and center of our interior life. Of course, the basis for all these affirmations is that in the Eucharist, we have Christ himself, the Son of God who became man and remains as man in eternity, and makes himself the â€œWay, Truth and Lifeâ€ for us.
In short, we cannot be with God without Christ, without the Eucharist. Christianity would not be true and authentic Christianity without theEucharist. We have to see Christ in the Eucharist, and also feel the need for the continuing work of redemption that Christ invites us to cooperate.
We are all co-redeemers with him. This truth should sink deep in our consciousness and unravel its many, in fact, endless, implications and consequences, both theoretical and practical.
Everyone of us is called to do apostolate. The mere fact that we all human beings, members of the same family, and made the people and family of God through Christâ€™s redemptive work, should already encourage us to care for one another, not only materially but also spiritually, not only naturally but also supernaturally.
This wonderful implication of the Eucharist should remind us always that whatever differences and conflicts we may have in the areas of politics, business, etc., we are all meant to love another. Recourse to the Eucharist will assure us of that unity in spite of, and even because of, our differences.