MAY IS THE MONTH OF MARY.
The Fifth and Sixth Week of Eastertide. Double Edition.
The Eucharist – and Mary.
As we begin the Month of Mary, it seems fitting to conclude our short April series on the Eucharist with how imitating Mary will draw us closer to the Eucharist and bring us greater spiritual rewards.
Christ is God’s greatest Gift to the human race, through Mary. In the account of the Annunciation, the gospel tells us that she was a humble person, asking God why she had been chosen of all women. But Mary accepted God’s choice, because she had absolute faith and trust in her God and to God she surrendered her will with the words, ‘Be unto me according to your word’. The Blessed Virgin’s greatness is in her humility, and it is through her humility that she both brought Jesus to the world and to this day, directs us to Him and his Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.
Mary had the fullness of grace, through God’s gift to her of her own Immaculate Conception, and it was her purity that enabled her to be fully open to God and thus to begin God’s mission to the world in Jesus Christ. For God’s redemptive grace to work more effectively in us, we need to imitate Mary's purity through the sacrament of penance and good works and more humbly approach the source of Grace, the body of Christ, in the Holy Eucharist.
Mary needs to be our model in our participation and reception of the Eucharist, because the Eucharist is at the centre of a living faith and spiritual life. As the centre of our faith is the realization that Jesus Christ, son of God is also the son of Mary and that he is with us on earth until the end of time in the Holy Eucharist. He is truly present in the Eucharist, but unlike in the other sacraments He left us, the Eucharist is ‘The Blessed Sacrament’ not just ‘a’ sacrament, because we don’t receive grace from Him, but actually receive Him, the Lord Himself: we receive the Body of Christ, Son of Mary. Through the Eucharist, we may receive the grace and healing of the humanity of Jesus, son of Mary just as people reached out to touch him and be healed when He walked on earth, except that in the Eucharist, he comes to us and feeds us with his very self. In the Eucharist, we don’t just touch him, but He comes to dwell within us, to be one with us, to make His home in within us.
In the agony of his body as He hung from the Cross, only the Godhead of Jesus was hidden from human eye, but in the Eucharist, both his humanity and Godhead are veiled from our sight, but he promised us that through this most Holy Sacrament, he would be with us always. Christ left us his body, soul and divinity as the ultimate source of grace through life’s journey. As we sing in the ‘Adoro te Devote’, as translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins:
Godhead here in hiding whom I do adore Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more. See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived; How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed; What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do; Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men; Here thy very manhood steals from human ken: Both are my confession, both are my belief, And I pray the prayer made by the dying thief.
O thou, our reminder of the Crucified, Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died, Lend this life to me, then; feed and feast my mind, There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
Jesus whom I look at, shrouded here below, I beseech thee, send me what I thirst for so, Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light And be blest forever with thy glory's sight.
By reception of Holy Communion, the Son of God comes to dwell in us just as He came on earth through dwelling in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was God’s first home on earth, and we, when we receive Him in purity of heart at Holy Communion, become his dwelling place on earth today. Mary can help and guide us to receive Him well, in love, purity and devotion like her.
Having confessed our sins and received absolution, we may be more like Mary and more open to receive and be instruments of the Grace, which comes from the Lord in Holy Communion. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the model of how to receive Jesus in our hearts, minds and souls, for our good, and as instruments of Christ’s grace and healing for all we live alongside on earth.
PARISH YOUTH NOTICES
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE FIFTH & SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER