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The Eucharist comes to us as a work and gift of the whole Trinity.
– Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM
A friend recently told me that her father used to help her mother in the kitchen with the most tedious of tasks. One thing he liked to do was peel walnuts and sort them into buckets. Then, he would give bags of the nuts to friends and family. My friend’s father recently passed away and a few months later she reached into her freezer to get some of the walnuts to make banana bread. As she looked at the bag of walnuts she realized that even though her father was gone, he had left her nourishment for her journey.
At that moment, my friend suddenly had a deeper understanding of the Eucharist. Jesus knew he was going to ascend into heaven, but he left his followers with something to nourish them, and not just earthly food but his own Body and Blood.
We are looked after.
We are cared for.
We have a heavenly Father who knows our every need and goes to great lengths to give us what we require. Our daily bread is not a symbol or mere earthly sustenance; it is true spiritual food, the real flesh and blood of our Savior the God-man. The Eucharist is nourishment that transcends ceremony and finds its power and its essence in the very workings of the Trinity itself.
Here are some of the amazing effects of the Eucharist:
1) Union with Christ:
Reception of Jesus in the Eucharist fuses our being with that of Christ. St. Cyril of Alexandria describes it as similar to “when melted wax is fused with other wax.” The Christian journey is a journey to become like Christ, to “abide in him” and he in us. The Eucharist is the means for this to happen.