1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican City, Va)
For the first reflection in 2013, it is appropriate to revisit the Eucharist, which is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Real Presence. He is Present during Holy Mass, in the Tabernacle or in the Monstrance set out for Eucharistic Adoration, but he is also present really in us, his people as we go about living, working, relaxing, particularly when we do good things.
Jesus Christ wants only what is good for us. Toward that end he gives us the Grace, the Heavenly help we need to accomplish good. Bad things aren't caused by God. These are caused either by temptation to do bad things (devil) where men and women aren't strong enough to remain good (or, in the State of Grace), or bad things are caused by forces not under our control such as Hurricanes, Tornadoes and other Storms, Fire, etc. Or, evil is caused through the action of evil people who wish to do us harm. People believe that the Lord "allows" bad things to happen to us as a test of courage and faith. I believe that Jesus wishes for us only what is good!
People who are harmed through disasters not of their own making, often are heard to explain why they cannot forgive whomever caused the evil that happened to them. Jesus Christ is not the person to blame, ever. He came into this world to redeem the world, to save the world, to give us the opportunity to join with Him and the Angels and Saints/Blessed in Eternity. Jesus loves us dearly, wishes us to love Him as well. So fixing blame for our misfortunes on Heaven just isn't right, even though it is at times convenient. We may say "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21).
There are so many people who are locked up within themselves with guilt, with unforgiveness concerning things that happened in their lives that are often not even their own fault. We should 'chill out' as young people say. It isn't natural to stay angry with a relative for something he or she did to you, which was only a small indifference then, when it first occured and is now a tall mountain of anger because neither party will forgive the other. Please, don't let these stumbling blocks stop you from happiness. Please, if the other person doesn't make the first move, you do it - send your accuser a nice note, so many years have gone by, let's be friends again. Take the first step toward healing!
If you partake frequently of Holy Communion, you will get to this point too, that you know something has to be done. Jesus makes it possible for you! Praise God.
Peace and Good!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
January 6, 2013