Summary: All need the touch of the healing Christ, the same Christ who is our companion in Word and Sacrament

Monday of 33rd Week in Course

Sacramentum Caritatis

Two men went up to the Temple to pray. One was a collaborator and bag man and thief, and the other was a law-abiding, tithe-giving good citizen. The good guy spent all of his time bragging about his good works and telling God how much better he was than everyone else; the thief kept beating his breast and asking for forgiveness. They both needed forgiveness, but only one asked for it. So he went away holy–presumably to reform his life–and the so-called good guy went away steeped in his pride. But what both of them needed was the touch of the healing Jesus Christ, the same Christ who is with us now in Word and Sacrament.

When God revealed the newly-created woman to Adam, he gasped with wonder. When the priest, standing in persona Christi, proclaims “the mystery of faith” right after the transformation of the bread and wine into the substance of Christ, in the upcoming translation, we say or sing in awe: Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free. The Holy Father comments: ’The Eucharist is a "mystery of faith" par excellence: "the sum and summary of our faith." (13) The Church’s faith is essentially a eucharistic faith, and it is especially nourished at the table of the Eucharist. Faith and the sacraments are two complementary aspects of ecclesial life. Awakened by the preaching of God’s word, faith is nourished and grows in the grace-filled encounter with the Risen Lord which takes place in the sacraments: "faith is expressed in the rite, while the rite reinforces and strengthens faith." (14) For this reason, the Sacrament of the Altar is always at the heart of the Church’s life: "thanks to the Eucharist, the Church is reborn ever anew!" (15) The more lively the eucharistic faith of the People of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples. The Church’s very history bears witness to this. Every great reform has in some way been linked to the rediscovery of belief in the Lord’s eucharistic presence among his people.’

We’d have to be blind to ignore the real need for reform today, in public life, in our worship, in our daily walk with Christ. It is the Eucharistic celebration that gives us the means, the energy and the plan for real, positive change in the Church and in the war-weary world.

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