SELF-SACRIFICE WITH CHRIST
Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist so that his disciples might remember his life, death and resurrection as an offering for others. He interpreted the breaking of bread and shedding of wine as his body broken and his blood, shed for the salvation of humanity. While the synoptic gospels present directly the institution of the sacrament, the gospel of the beloved disciple offers a lesson on the fraternal service as a personal living experience of the Eucharist.
In the light of the sacrifice of Jesus, the first Christian community saw the sharing of their goods with the needy as a Eucharistic celebration made alive. In some cases where this sense of sharing with the poor was absent, St. Paul was very strong against those who converted the celebration into a mere fulfilling of a ritual of eating and drinking (cf. 1Cor 11, 21), without a commitment of fraternity. For him the Lord´s Supper is a call to overcome selfishness and an option for the personal sacrifice for others to live.
For Father Claret the Eucharist is an experience of a deeper union with Jesus and a call to live for others and so it is important to die for others. The mere attendance at the Eucharistic celebration does not transform us into faithful followers of Jesus as a magical act, but it is important to provoke in us the attitudes of Jesus who offered himself. Claret tried to make them his own by nurturing and strengthening the good quality God has showered upon him, “…..I can’t bear seeing misfortune or misery without doing something to help” (Auto. 10). His Eucharistic living was always updating this oneness with Jesus who was moulding his entire life: it was converting his whole day into a prolongation of the celebration lived each morning. For that he made use of the visits to the Eucharistic Jesus during the day (remember his devotion to the “Forty Hours”).
How do you usually participate in the Eucharist? Do you take enough time to give thanks and listen internally what Jesus teaches you in the sacrament?