The Eucharist is perfect sacrifice manifested by the Son of God for each one of us. In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus calls each one of us to intimate communion. He has descended from Heaven to become our heavenly food, changing the substance of simple elements of bread and wine into His Body and Blood to nourish us with food for this journey that we currently live. When we receive the Eucharist, even with our eyes and hearts open in fixed adoration, it is not so much that we are bringing Christ into communion with ourselves, but instead we allow Jesus as the Bread of Life to bring us into fullness of communion with the Triune God, together as One in His pilgrim Church and with the heavenly communion of saints and all of the heavenly hosts. We are to be in a state of grace to receive the Holy Eucharist, for if our souls are not clean, we are stained by profane things that offend the holiness of God but also will serve the Church poorly, with filth instead of with genuine love. Personal sin harms the Body of Christ, and each one of us as a sinner has wounded Christ and the Church in our own particular way.
My brother Knights, we should pursue holiness in that same fiery fervor with which God has pursued our own souls for Him. On the Cross, Jesus’ Heart burns in love for us and speaks -- “I thirst” -- but He does not thirst for mere wine or water. Christ thirsts for you, for every part of your life and nothing less. The Son of God thirsts for your true love. He thirsts for you to discover your true freedom in His holiness, your true freedom from every stain of sin, and your true freedom to love authentically! Christ thirsts for you to participate in His great salvific work on earth, by denying yourself as He has done, taking up your Cross of discipleship, and following Him wherever He may lead you … even to mounting the Cross with Him. Jesus thirsts for you to share in the greatest love that is God Himself, Deus caritas est, through which you are empowered to love your fellow man as He does. Jesus desires perfect communion with you, that your heart and His Sacred Heart may be one, as the Father and Son are One. When we find ourselves in true communion with Christ, made possible by Christ’s shedding of Blood in self-sacrifice, we gain that perfect communion with God which gives us entrance into the glorious Kingdom of God with the communion of saints in heaven. As fruit of this love, we realize deeper bonds of communion with each other even now in this life as brothers, true friendships bound by God’s love, brothers in arms whom we need in order to carry out the great apostolic work of our Faith. In the Eucharist, the gift of life that we’ve been given -- regardless of its trials and battles – is directed toward the reality of heaven of which we already partake.
If only we pay attention, listening with open hearts to Jesus’ word of invitation spoken to us, and choose to obey God ... As we continue to pray in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament, may we discover the authentic happiness that God desires to give us in His Person-Gift, the Holy Spirit, Who pours from the Heart of Jesus inviting each of us to perfect communion in Him. May God give us the grace to experience more fully this gift of His very Self, so that we might become a ever purer gift to God in return, as a life-filled expression of His unfathomable love, becoming a more authentic gift for our neighbor.
Each of us is here as we still need to grow in the holiness that we seek. The Sacrament of Reconciliation that we are about to celebrate provides us yet another grace-filled chance to refuse sin, to reject mediocrity of faith, to settle in our own lives for nothing less than perfection, repenting of our wrongdoing and asking God for the grace of His holiness to grow superabundantly in our entire being. Whether it’s been one day, one week, one month, or one year or more since our last confession, may God give us the moral courage to reconcile fully with Him in every area of our lives – leaving no stony part of our hearts unturned -- so that we might purify our hearts and more perfectly reflect His glory in love wherever He may lead us. God’s Divine Mercy pours from the Heart of Christ ready to forgive each of us and to reconcile us to perfect communion in Him and with His Church, if only we ask.
(post-Confession introduction to the Rosary)
Pope Benedict XVI tells us, “The only danger the Church can and should fear is the sin of her members … While Mary is free from every stain of sin, the Church is holy, but at the same time is marked by our sins. For that reason the people of God, pilgrim in time, turn to her heavenly Mother and ask her help and encouragement in living a truly Christian life and to give us hope … Mary helps us see that there is a light beyond the blanket of fog that seems to envelop reality” (Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2011). And so, searching for the Light of Christ with Mary, who always leads us to her Son, we now pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, meditating upon the key moments in Jesus’ life where the Light of Christ manifests the Way to His Father.