Summary: Mary’s example can inspire us as we strive to believe that Christ is present.
Mary and the Blessed Sacrament
May 12, 2009
Today’s Marianist festival sits in a cluster of Marian commemorations from all over the world. Tomorrow we celebrate Our Lady of Fatima. In one diocese, today is the feast of Our Lady of Power. Yesterday was the commemoration of the apparition of Mary to St. Philip Neri.
Tomorrow is also the commemoration Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. It is very fitting that on the eve of that day, we should look forward to our semi-annual day of adoration of Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament. The title Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was given to our Blessed Mother in May 1868 by Saint Peter Julian Eymard to honor her relationship to the Holy Eucharist and to place her before us as a model in our duties and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
The Blessed Sacrament, Jesus here under the form of bread and wine, and displayed under the first form for our worship and blessing, is the sign, sacrament and reality of the presence of Jesus in the Church. Jesus’ promise in John chapter 6 of the Bread of Life was fulfilled at the Last Supper, and is re-presented every time we celebrate Mass. He told us that if we eat this bread we will live forever, and be blessed by the Resurrection. Jesus is present here under material signs. What we see as ordinary bread is the Bread from Heaven.
Mary gave birth to the same Christ and laid him in a feed box. From the beginning he was shown to us as our life and sustenance. Is it sometimes difficult for us to believe that the Host is really the Body of Christ? Think about Mary and Joseph. Every time they saw or touched or fed or changed the baby, their faith was challenged. This is the Messiah; this is the Son of God. So when we come here to Eucharistic adoration, we should always come with Mary and ask her for the faith she had in the Real Presence. When she took communion–as she did after the Resurrection–she was using the same faith she used when she stood beneath her Son’s cross. That’s the faith we need, the faith not only to believe in the presence, but to become ourselves the presence of Christ to a world in need of faith, hope and love. So let’s pray for those graces today for ourselves and the other members of our Marianist family. And let’s also pray for our Holy Father as he continues his pilgrimage to the holy places, and for peace in the Holy Land.