Day 5, January 18th.
Pope Francis said: Prayer and the sacraments water the roots and our life blossoms. Never cut off Jesus’ roots.
The celebration of Mass is organized around Communion, that is, in being united to Jesus; the Sacramental Communion: not spiritual communion which you can have in your own home by saying: “Jesus I would like to receive you spiritually”. No, Sacramental Communion, with the Body and the Blood of Christ. We celebrate the Eucharist to nourish ourselves of Christ who gives himself both in Word and in the Sacrament of the Altar, in order to conform us to him. The Lord himself says this: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”. (Jn 6:56).
During Mass, after breaking the consecrated Bread, that is the Body of Christ, the priest shows it to the faithful, inviting them to participate in the Eucharistic banquet. We know the words that ring out from the sacred altar: “Happy are those who are called to his Supper. This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. In this faith, we too turn our gaze to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and we invoke him: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”. We say this at every Mass.
Although we are the ones who stand in procession to receive Communion; we approach the altar in a procession to receive communion, in reality it is Christ who comes towards us to assimilate us in him. There is an encounter with Jesus! To nourish oneself of the Eucharist means to allow oneself to be changed by what we receive. Saint Augustine helps us understand this when he talks about the light he received when he heard Christ say to him: “I am the food of strong men; grow, and you shall feed upon me; nor shall you convert me, like the food of your flesh, into you, but you shall be converted into me” (Confessions VII, 10, 16: pl 32, 742). Each time we receive Communion, we resemble Jesus more; we transform ourselves more fully into Jesus. As the Bread and the Wine are converted into the Body and Blood of the Lord, so too those who receive it with faith are transformed into a living Eucharist. You reply “Amen” to the priest who distributes the Eucharist saying “the Body of Christ”; that is, you recognize the grace and the commitment involved in becoming the Body of Christ. Because when you receive the Eucharist, you become the Body of Christ. This is beautiful; it is very beautiful. As it unites us to Christ, tearing us away from our selfishness, Communion opens us and unites us to all those who are a single thing in him. This is the wonder of Communion: we become what we receive! General Audience, Wednesday 21st March 2018.
St Vincent Pallotti, having celebrated Mass wrote: “Our Lord Jesus Christ has permitted me to feel that in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist he is my food and nourishment, not only as regards the communication of his holiness and perfection, but also by communicating to me his life, his fortitude and by giving me so much strength to live in relative health and in conformity with his greatest glory for the benefit of souls in accordance with his adorable most holy will.” And “I have an experience which leaves me with a deep certainty that God wishes to nourish me with his whole self, with his divine essence and nature and with his infinite attributes, all infinitely merciful … in the most holy Eucharist.” OOCC X, p.450, 451-2.
St. Vincent Pallotti, you were formed and called by God, the Infinite Love.
You answered God’s call to serve.
You were there:
for those seeking forgiveness and counsel,
for the sick,
for the youth and the aging,
for the rich and the poor,
for the people of every profession and walk of life.
Every person is important to you.
You inspire us to seek God in all things,
Reminding us of our call to be apostles
In the Church and in the world.
Now we call upon you to intercede for us.
Help us to pray. Help us to pray only for what we truly need;
Help us to grow in holiness, to live for the honour of God and for the salvation of our neighbour. You received many graces from God and we ask you to bless us now by presenting our petitions to God (Pause to mention your intentions)
With you we give thanks to God as if He had already granted us what we have asked in the name of Jesus who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen!
St. Vincent Pallotti, pray for us
Our Lady Queen of Apostles, pray for us
Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be…