“When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.” ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta
The next few days are days full of visuals. Tonight, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we have the visual of the Eucharist as well as the Mandatum (the washing of the feet and the mandate to the disciples to serve others). How often do we truly look at the Eucharistic Lord, though?
There are many times, when I celebrate Mass, that I see people distracted by a host of things. Some are into reading the bulletin, some are into their prayer books, some are looking at auditory distractions from babies or young children. Even when I lift the chalice or host in the air and the bells ring, there are those whose gaze is elsewhere.
Our eyes should be fixed totally upon the Eucharist when it is raised. Jesus — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — is right in front of us. As Mother Teresa instructed her followers, when you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.
Yes, now. Right now.
When we gaze at the crucifix or a cross — which we will do in a very real way tomorrow at the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday — we remember an event that took place in the past. It was a sad event. It was a great event. But it was also an event recorded in history. The Eucharist, on the other hand, is a present day reality.
Each time we gaze upon a consecrated host, we see Jesus giving Himself to us right now.
Tonight’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins the Sacred Triduum, the shortest liturgical season in the Church year. It culminates with the celebration of Easter. At the Mass, we remember Jesus’ gift to each and every one of us. We are given the opportunity to take the Lord into our very selves each time we receive the Eucharist.
God didn’t just say that He loved us. He proved it by sending His Son. Jesus didn’t just say He loved us. He proved it by giving us His Body and Blood and He proves it again every time we gather around the altar.
Let Him love you right now.
FAITH ACTION: If possible, attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper this evening to thank Jesus for the gift of His Body and Blood, the nourishment for our souls.