“With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind.” — Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
When did I first realize that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist? This question came to my mind recently during an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. As I sat in the church gazing at the tiny, white host, the hidden Christ before my eyes, I could not help but ponder the thought in my mind.
I remember the moment that my heart was completely captivated by Christ as a 6-year-old child one day after the celebration of Sunday Mass. My mother asked the priest if he would explain the Mass to me, and I remember the smile beaming across his face as he gently took my hand and guided me toward the altar. I looked upward with curious eyes toward the beautiful, marble structure as he picked up his chalice and pointed to the stone on the side of it, which was his grandmother’s stone from her engagement ring. Father told me it was a special chalice that was used to hold the precious blood of Jesus. No words were uttered from my lips as I must have been trying to make sense of it in the best way that I could at 6 years old.
Then Father turned around and pointed to the golden box behind the altar. Kneeling down beside me, he asked, “Do you know who is in there?” Silence took over me as I stood there in deep thought until I whispered to him that the hosts were in there. Then he said, “Yes, but who is in there?” I blankly stared at the tabernacle with my eyes fixated on the golden structure, until finally Father pointed again, and said, “Jesus is in there. Jesus is in the tabernacle.”
I was completely awestruck by his words, and my life was never the same. After each Mass from that day forward, I would kneel on the blue, velvety kneelers in the church’s Madonna Room that overlooked the sanctuary and gaze upon the tabernacle as long as I was permitted to remain in the church. And each time my mother and I would pass a Catholic church while driving in the car, I always wanted to go inside to see Jesus.
Once we know that Jesus Christ, the God-man, is really and truly present in the Eucharist, how can we ever deny the truth? Christ gives himself to us in the Eucharist, his body, blood, soul and divinity, and he wants us to receive the precious graces that come to us through the reception of holy Communion in order to unite us into an even deeper relationship with the Trinity. Christ wants us to want him, and in every tabernacle around the world Jesus is waiting for us. He is really there, present to us in the Eucharist.
The gift of himself that Jesus gives us in the Eucharist is a love beyond the description of words. In that tiny host holds the most profound love imaginable that the gift of the priesthood brings to us during every single Catholic Mass. Despite my weakness and my sins, the Son of God comes to me.
We as Catholics are united together at the table of the Lord by receiving the true flesh and true blood of Christ. The Eucharist conquers division and brings us together as one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We may never meet one another in person, but by receiving holy Communion we are united as the mystical body of Christ. We must never forget the truth. I’ll see you in the Eucharist.