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 "At His Feet: Devoted Love"

 

"An Intercessor's Eucharistic Appetite"

 

          On the evening before he was to die, Jesus gathered with his Apostles in the large, upper room of a house in the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal. There, he said, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15). This particular celebration of the Passover meal will be like no other; for, it is his "Last Supper". At this ritual meal Jesus, by his sovereign  authority as Son of God, will transform the Passover remembrance of the Exodus event of the Old Testament into "The Lord's Supper": "See, I am doing something new!" (Is. 43:19) As Jesus blesses ordinary bread and wine, he gives them "the eternal value of his redemptive death" for the world that  will occur on the following day ("Good Friday") (Dictionary of Biblical Theology, p. 147). For now on, whenever the Eucharist is celebrated, hidden within the food of bread and wine is the richness of his sacrificial death as Victim for our sins. Do I have a deep, spiritual hunger for a "hidden life" of prayer with the Victim Lamb?

 

           The "eager desire" of Jesus expressed in this passage refers to several realities: His insatiable longing to fulfill his "Paschal purpose" in the world for the "life of the world". He will accomplish this by the voluntary offering of his life in obedience to the Father. One might say that hidden within every holy communion is the obedient, sacrificial, Love of Jesus for the Father. Do I have such a driven hunger to please the Father in everything? We also note the words, "with you". Jesus has a "Eucharistic yearning": 1)to be with us; 2)to offer for us; 3)and to unite us to his offering to the Father. In the Eucharist, we are joined with Jesus on the altar of the cross, and are united to his intercession for the salvation of the world. St. Paul reminds us:

 

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?"

(1 Co. 10:16)

 

The word, participate, means 'to take part in; to share in'. Part of the greeting prayer of Palm Sunday reads:

 

"Being made by his grace partakers of the cross, we may have a share also in his Resurrection and in his life"

(Roman Missal, p. 132).

 

The Lamb, the Bridegroom, desires to share his life and offering most intimately with his Bride, the Church--to the extent that we become one offering with him--united with his perfect offering  to the Father!

 

           As he blesses ordinary bread and wine, Jesus gives them new meaning. He changes them; He proclaims:

 

"This is my body, which will be given for you, do this in memory of me…And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you"

(Luke 22:19B,20).

 

Intercessors need to hear these words, "for you", as spoken personally and intimately to us by Jesus. Only by internalizing these words in the depths of our hearts can we then in turn say to the world, "for you"--as a desire to pray and offer our lives in union with the Lamb for the world.

 

          This "true food"(The Eucharistic Body) and "true drink"(The Eucharistic Blood) of the Eucharistic Body and Blood of the True Lamb unite intercessors in an intimate communion with Jesus and should awaken a fervent "Eucharistic appetite", and cultivate a rich "paschal perspective" within one's heart:

 

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him"

(John 6:56)

 

 In this mutual indwelling Jesus unites us to himself and to his offering for the "life of the world".

 

          St. Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch (bishop and martyr) is one of the great, passionate lovers of Jesus in the early Church. St. Ignatius suffered martyrdom during the time of the Roman persecutions.  On his way to Rome to be martyred, he wrote several letters to various Churches. In one letter he writes: "My desire is to belong to God"; "Do not talk about Jesus Christ as long as you love this world"; "There is no yearning in me for any earthly thing"; "I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of the world"; "I want only God's bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish" (LH, vol. IV, p. 1491). Such a "voracious spiritual thirst" can only come from a deep communion with the Lamb. Do I have such a "paschal palate"? St. Ignatius believed that the immense, sacrificial Love of Jesus endures forever. Ignatius had the heart of an intercessor. From his fiery, intense union with Jesus, Ignatius "offered". He had truly become a branch on the Vine, planted firmly in the love of Jesus (LH. Vol. III, p. 1074), and his death bore tremendous fruit for the Church.

 

Questions:

1) Do I have a rich Eucharistic spirituality in my life?

2) What is my current perspective (image) of the world today?

 

Scriptures:

Any scripture in the text; John 6:51B; John 6:53; John 6:55-56; John 6:57B; 1Co. 10:16-17; 1 Co. 11:23-25

 

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-SEVEN, TIME TO STORM HEAVEN"

 

 

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