19 June 2014

The Eucharist: Christ's Goodness, Humility, Generosity, and Love

Church of St. John the Baptist, Quincy, Illinois
Among all the memorable events of Christ's life, the most worthy of remembrance is that last banquet, the most sacred supper. Here not only the paschal lamb was presented to be eaten but also the immaculate Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Under the appearance of bread having all delight and the pleasantness of every taste (Wisdom 16:20), he was given as food. In this banquet the marvelous sweetness of Christ's goodness shone forth when he dined at the same table and on the same plates with those poor disciples and the traitor Judas. The marvelous example of his humility shone forth when, girt with a towel, the King of Glory diligently washed the feet of the fishermen and even of his betrayer. The marvelous richness of his generosity was manifest when he gave to those first priests, and as a consequence to the whole Church and the world, his most sacred body and his true blood as food and drink so that what was soon to be a sacrifice pleasing to God and the priceless price of our redemption would be our viaticum and sustenance. Finally the marvelous outpouring of his love shone forth when, loving his own to the end (John 13:1), he strengthened them in goodness with a gentle exhortation, especially forewarning Peter to be firm in faith and offering to John his breast as a pleasant and sacred place of rest.

O how marvelous are all these things,
how full of sweetness,
but only for that soul
who, having been called to so distinguished a banquet,
with all the ardor of his spirit
so that he may cry out
with the Prophet:
As the stag longs for the springs of water
so my soul longs for your,
O God (Psalm 41:2)

- Saint Bonaventure

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