On Holy Thursday, after the evening Mass, it was inspiring to join the entire congregation in a Eucharistic Procession to the Activities Center.
Like the Apostles after the Last Supper, we walked with Jesus to a quiet place to pray. On June 11, we will have another Eucharistic Procession after the 10:45 Mass, to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi. And in a few weeks, our young children will receive their First Holy Communion, beginning a new stage in their life-long journey with Jesus.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus in today’s Gospel are a perfect image of our Christian life, walking together, with Jesus. Like those disciples, we long for Jesus to speak to our hearts, to set them on fire with his Word and his presence. And like them, we recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
“Stay with us, Lord.” This plea from the disciples is our prayer, as well. And the Lord answers our prayer with his abiding Eucharistic presence. Nearly 20 years ago, Pope John Paul II used these words to begin a Year of the Eucharist. As we continue with our National Eucharistic Revival, his words can help us continue on our way with the Lord.
“It is significant that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, duly prepared by our Lord’s words, recognized him at table through the simple gesture of the “breaking of bread”. When minds are enlightened and hearts are enkindled, signs begin to “speak”. The Eucharist unfolds in a dynamic context of signs containing a rich and luminous message. Through these signs the mystery in some way opens up before the eyes of the believer.” (Mane Nobiscum Domine, 14)
“Faith demands that we approach the Eucharist fully aware that we are approaching Christ himself. It is precisely his presence which gives the other aspects of the Eucharist — as meal, as memorial of the Paschal Mystery, as eschatological anticipation — a significance which goes far beyond mere symbol- ism. The Eucharist is a mystery of presence, the perfect fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to remain with us until the end of the world.” (MND, 16)
“God has placed in human hearts a “hunger” for his word (cf. Am 8:11), a hunger which will be satisfied only by full union with him. Eucharistic communion was given so that we might be “sated” with God here on earth, in expectation of our complete fulfilment in heaven.” (MND, 19)
“As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26). The Apostle closely relates meal and proclamation: entering into communion with Christ in the memorial of his Pasch also means sensing the duty to be a missionary of the event made present in that rite. The dismissal at the end of each Mass is a charge given to Christians, inviting them to work for the spread of the Gospel and the imbuing of society with Christian values. (MND, 24)
Stay with us, Lord, set our hearts on fire, and send to share your loving presence with all the world.