Today, in a most special way, we celebrate the gift of the Eucharist, we celebrate our Lord and Savior in what our physical senses perceive as bread and wine. We celebrate the result of total self-giving; of true and total love. And this reminded me of a discussion I had with someone at work. Actually, it was more he teasing me and me finding a evangelizing moment. We were talking about the Church and he commented to me that after all the Masses in all the Churches in the world; for the duration since Jesus gave us the eucharist; that we had either run out of the true Eucharist or that each piece of bread and drop in a chalice would have the smallest particle ever known to man of Jesus to be able to stretch Jesus until now. I gave him some quick but earnest answer; however, something that Thomas Aquinas wrote brings this coworker’s comment back to my mind on this Solemnity of the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
‘nec sumptus consumitur’ Love never consumes!; and the Eucharist is love in its purest and truest form. Love always gives, it never takes, and it gives from an inexhaustible source – God. We give each other our love and the love that is returned strengthens us to give even more.
This wasn’t some new idea that Christ gave us – indeed God’s love for His creation has been witnessed to since the earliest Old Testament times; Exodus 3:2 ”There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed.” In this most normal bush, Moses looked at the result of pure love, it wasn’t consumed, it was changed, it radiated God’s glory. And we too see this every time at Mass, or during Holy Hour, or during Adoration; every time we gaze on what seems to our physical senses normal bread – we know in our heart, we understand with our faith senses that we are in the presence of the glorious God Almighty. This strengthens us to go out and give the love given to us – given to us by a God who gave himself to us to eat and who will never be consumed!
It is no wonder that the Church believes the Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our faith because it contains the totality of our faith – it contains the inexhaustible gift of Love – it contains Jesus.