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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, January 25, 2016
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with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Let's be Eucharistic souls

That's right. For us to be truly human, to be a real person who is both grounded and oriented properly, we need to be Eucharistic in mind and heart, because the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is where we have our most precious treasure, our everything, our light, our purification, our salvation.

That's where we have Christ not only in real presence, as in the Blessed Sacrament, nor as spiritual food, as in the Holy Communion, but primarily as our savior who continues to offer his life on the cross for us, as in the Holy Mass.

We need to be theological in our thinking to capture this reality and live in accordance to it not only from time to time, but rather all the time and everywhere, whatever our situation is.

We have to overcome the very common phenomenon of treating the Holy Eucharist as just a special part of our life that we may attend to in some special moments of the day or on Sundays and holy days of obligation only.

If we believe that God is everything to us, then we have to believe also that Christ, the son of God who became man, is also everything to us. That's why he said he is “the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the Father except through me.”

Now, if we believe in Christ as everything to us, then it follows that we have to believe in the Holy Eucharist also as everything to us, since it is the Holy Eucharist where the whole redemptive life of Christ is summarized and sacramentalized, that is to say, made present to us through time.

With the Holy Eucharist, we become contemporaries of Christ in his most supreme act of salvific love for us. But, alas, how many of us realize this, and among those of us who do, how many have the skill to turn this realization into a living reality?

We need to do a lot of catechizing and discussion if only to air out the many possibilities and practical considerations we can have to make the Holy Eucharist everything to us not only in theory and aspiration, but also in practice in our daily grind.

At the moment, many of the believers still consider the Eucharist as too special as to leave it only in some secluded if very holy, solemn places, where it is, of course, adored and exalted. But it largely remains there. Its spirit, its effects hardly are brought out to the world.

We need to correct this predicament. That's why we have to deepen our knowledge of this sacrament, and more than that, to cultivate a greater love, a sharper hunger and thirst for it. And that is not enough. We need to bring the Eucharist everywhere, we need to bear witness to it consistently.

This is a big challenge that all of us face and, therefore, also have the responsibility to do something about it. It's good that Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the country and in Asia, is the venue of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress. Let's hope that the privilege improves our knowledge of the relevant doctrine and our Eucharistic life in general.

One main obstacle in this regard is the common thought that the Eucharist is hardly relevant to our daily practical affairs of the real world. This is like saying that Christ has a limited relevance in our life or that he has nothing or nothing much to say about most of our mundane affairs.

The main thing to correct here is the way we think. We have to be more theological in our thinking, inputting the truths of our faith and giving them a priority over all the other inputs that come from our common sense, and our knowledge derived from the sciences and arts, from economics, politics, business, etc.

We need to refer everything to God, and to do this, we need to refer everything through the Holy Eucharist which is precisely the living Christ made present in the Blessed Sacrament, made our food in the Holy Communion, and made our true and ultimate Savior in the Holy Mass.

In other words, we need to do a better, deeper and wider inculturation of the Holy Eucharist in our system, both individually and collectively, both personally and socially. Let's hope that we can be more conscious of this need, and start to develop the necessary attitudes and the appropriate skills and virtues.

The net effect should be that we become more and more Eucharistic in all aspects of our life!*

 

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