We are always looking for a bargain. Where to get the most for our money—the best food, the finest clothes, top quality gasoline—while paying the cheapest price. A mark of a good shopper: getting a good product for a little money.
Our faith is not like shopping. Although some folks do shop around. Where is the shortest Mass? Who gives the best homilies? Such Catholics bounce around from one parish to another, really never being satisfied because they are looking for a good deal rather than a relationship—always looking for what they can get rather than what they can share. Faith is about relationship. As in any relationship there is a give and take—talking and listening—good times and bad. Jesus had bad days too. When He announced, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven…” He lost many followers. From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a point of contention. The Catholic Faith, and through the power of the ordained priesthood, Jesus becomes truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. We have the privilege of holding God in our hands—touching Him—eating Him. That’s why we genuflect to the tabernacle before we enter the pew; then once Holy Mass begins our focus is on the ambo and the altar where the Real Presence is manifested. We should have a hunger, urgency, a desire to receive the Lord of our Life—the beard of life. When we hear the words, “Body of Christ, Blood of Christ” our response is “Amen.” Two little syllables with a lot of meaning. Translations is: “I believe”.
Do we? Are we convinced that the bread is no longer bread and the wine is the truly the Blood of Christ? Takes an act of faith. We believe those who have gone before us—who gave their life to defend what we now enjoy. Most certainly Jesus was killed for what folks thought were blasphemous ideas, saying that He was the bread of life—the remedy for death. All of us will admit that we want to live as long as we can. Creams, potions, and lotions are still in high demand to keep our skin tight. Jesus has a better solution: “Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Remember, God has always kept His word. The promise is real. In other words, the Eucharist is our ticket to heaven. So simple. We are the ones who complicate matters.
We complicate our life by getting into the worthy or unworthy game. Who’s in and who’s out—who can receive Holy Communion and who can’t. Keep in mind that we can never hurt the Lord. We can hurt ourselves, especially when we stay away from the Sacraments. Pride, regrets, dumb sins from the past. Why do we allow the past to rule our lives? Why do we choose not to forgive? Everyone of us who receives Holy Communion should be like a walking advertisement of the richness we have in the Blessed Sacrament—what a difference He has made in our lives. Others need to see the hope in our faces—not faces that drag to the floor. We are what we eat. Bottom line: we need to fall in love with Jesus Christ. Our personal relationship with the Lord must be obvious so that we can witness His mercy by what we say and what we do. The starting place is our home. The family is the most difficult place to live the Gospel—to give witness of the Body of Christ living in us. All the diabolical weapons are aimed against the family. Therefore, we don’t have to look very far. Spouse, children, in-laws—those are the ones who should be the first to notice what a difference the Lord has made in our life. With every Holy Communion we start to look more, act more, live more like Christ.
Better than climbing to the highest mountain, looking at the wonders of the world, reaching the greatest level of intelligence—is the intimacy we share with Christ when we receive Holy Communion. Nothing can be more important.