What a wonderful article on the Eucharist (December/January AD2000) by Chris Hilder to follow so closely on the closing of the glorious Year of the Eucharist instituted by Pope John Paul II.
We who are looking for a reinvigorated Catholicism must surely begin our search here at the feet of Our Lord who is enacting the great sacrifice of his life so that we might be renewed and, more basically, redeemed.
Unfortunately, perhaps, the answer to the question, "Are you saved brother?" is not able to be answered unambiguously by us Catholics. Rather, many of us feel a pressing need to be 'saved' practically every day and frequent attendance at Mass drives us to be reconciled with him frequently.
We begin to appreciate his friendship, to long to spend time in his Eucharistic presence. Before these momentous truths surely differences among ourselves should begin to take on some sort of objectivity and perspective.
And yet precisely here we run into difficulties, with Jesus' major commandment, his most basic law, "to love one another", tending to become a stumbling block.
"Faith without good works is dead" and the good work Jesus impels us to is surely to love unconditionally. Pope Benedict XVI recently analysed the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve, demonstrating convincingly how we re-enact that fall in almost identical terms today.
How can we be saved in this crucial area? To whom shall we go Lord? It is you who have the words of eternal life.
It is precisely to Jesus in the Eucharist that we must cry out for help in our painful dilemma. Jesus continues his sacrifice for our sins in his Eucharistic presence. He is the Lamb slain but the one who stands before the Father (Revelations), pleading with his eloquent wounds on our behalf.
We need to see the Year of the Eucharist as a catalyst for our generation to study and enter more deeply into Jesus' Eucharistic mystery, the "source and summit of the Christian (and Catholic) life?" Is this not a challenge to us all to step back a while and review our situation in the light and grace of the Eucharist and move forward positively making John Paul II's "New Springtime" actually happen first of all in our own small corner of the world?