Thought of the Day July 6, 2018 Real, enduring presence

By 9:47 AM

The Eucharist is real, enduring presence, satisfying the desire of the heart, which is love: Behold, I am with you always. Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst...For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:35,55)

With physical food and drink, we are temporarily satisfied until the pains of hunger stirs within us once more. For some people, food and drink become an addiction, not based on actual need but perceived in satiation or unfulfilled desires or needs. Physical food is assimilated into my body; it becomes an integral part of me.  Physical food temporally satisfies the desire of the body, but not the spirit.

There is a greater, more fundamental desire within each person--that of love: to be loved and to love.  The gift of the lover himself stirs anew the desire for the beloved. In the words of the psalmist: "Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you my God. My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life, when can I enter and see the face of God." (Ps 42)

The spiritual food Jesus gives us satisfies the heart of all desires--He is our food and drink--His Body and His Blood. As we eat his Body and drink his Blood we are changed, drawn into a deeper relationship with him in love. In the words of St. Augustine: “This sacred bread when eaten is not changed into our substance, but rather changes us into itself.”  While physically the same, we are not the same; God within us transforming us more into his image and likeness. To participate in the Eucharistic Banquet is to make present and conscious the words of Paul: “The life I live now is not my own: Christ is living in me” ( Gal 2:20). We are “conformed to Christ.” members of his body, one in him. (To be continued)

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