The Blessed Sacrament and The Blessed Virgin Mary – Part I

Source: District of Asia

Mediation 1: Jesus is Present in the Holy Eucharist, truly, really, substantially, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

1. Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist, truly, really, substantially, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

He had promised this presence in the celebrated discourse he pronounced in the Synagogue of Capharnaum immediately after the first multiplication of the loaves, and His walking upon the waters of Tiberias: I am the living bread, which came down from heaven... For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed... As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven (John vi: 51,56,58).

The promise was fulfilled at the last supper, in the Cenacle: Take ye and eat, this is my Body... Take and drink ye all of this, this is the chalice of my blood.

By virtue of these words, which are words of consecration, and by natural concomitance, Jesus Christ is entirely present under both species.

This is confirmed by the great Apostle Paul in the first letter to the Corinthians (Written about the year 57). The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?... Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord (I Cor. x: 16-; xi: 27).

This is a great mystery, Mysterium Fidei, which has its origin in the impenetrable obscurities of substance and which is lost in the infinite power of God.

Jesus is True God.

2. Jesus was called my "beloved Son" by the Father, and He himself declared that He was the only begotten Son of the Father (John iii: 16-18; ix: 35-38; x: 30; Matt. xxvi: 63 etc.) proving His assertion by His life, His miracles, His prophecies; and this truth is ratified by the firmest conviction, nineteen centuries of the faith of our Holy Church.

The Eucharist itself bears the countersign of the divinity; what indeed is more humble than the Eucharistic bread? And yet there is nothing more glorious. To realize this, just think of the solemn ceremonial celebrated around our altars, of the majestic national and international Eucharistic Congresses. The innumerable Catholic Churches scattered over the world with the treasures contained in them, what are they but little dwelling places of the Eucharist?

What is more fragile than a host? And yet no force is comparable to the consecrated Host. Stainless purity in the midst of corruption, martyrdom sustained with the greatest heroism by weak human beings, the most disinterested and sacrificing apostolate for the salvation of souls, these are fruits of the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the very center of our holy Religion, all the marvelous life and story of the Church has its support and its explanation in the Eucharist.

3. By our belief in the Holy Eucharist, we profess the dogma of the Holy Trinity, of the Incarnation, and consequently, of Original Sin, and of the Supernatural Order, the dogma of the resurrection of the body (I will raise him up on the last day: John vi: 40, 44, 55) and of eternal life (If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: John vi: 52).

Let us then renew our Faith which has an august compendium in the Eucharist.

Holy Mary.

We cannot honor the Holy Eucharist without honoring Mary.

1. Jesus present in the Eucharist is the son of Mary.

"Hail true Body, of Mary Virgin Born" we sing in the "Ave Verum."

“Sing, O my tongue, the mystery of the glorious body, and of the precious blood, which the King of the Gentiles, the fruit of a noble womb-shed for the redemption of the world." This we sing in the Pange Lingua.

The relation of Mother and Son also remains in the Holy Eucharist.

2. Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar reveals himself as true God; hence Mary is true mother of the Eucharistic God and the triumph of the divinity of Jesus in the consecrated Host is also the triumph of the divine Maternity of Mary. Very fitting it is indeed that this hour of adoration is being held in this stately temple of the Queen of Heaven, wherein fifteen hundred years ago, Pope Sixtus III, realized the design of perpetuating in a splendid mosaic over the main altar the dogma which is the root of all the greatness of Mary.

3. Like the Eucharist too, the Blessed Virgin is a compendium of our Religion; for in her there seem to be united the most sublime truths of our holy Faith.

Devotion to Mary, nourishes our devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

1. Mary is humble, pure, obedient even to the sacrifice of herself, as is revealed in her reply to the Archangel Gabriel; and the Eucharist is the example and the source of these her beloved virtues; so too, she leads to the Eucharist those souls devoted to her.

2. She loves Jesus, and this intense love is the measure of her zeal to make Him loved, there especially where He is present.

3. This is why the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin have had the same lot throughout the centuries: Protestants denied the dogma of Transubstantiation and at the same time refused any cult or honor of the Virgin Mother; the so-called orthodox Church, maintained the cult of the Blessed Virgin and has also conserved the Blessed Sacrament.

At Lourdes, the most famous shrine of the Blessed Mother, in our times, the glory of the Holy Eucharist and the visible. honoring of the Blessed Sacrament is unsurpassed.

Let us kneel, dear Brothers, in the most profound adoration, as we make our own the sentiments of the Holy Magi, when after their long journey and difficult quest, invenerunt Jesum cum Maria matre ejus (Mt. ii: 11).

Mediation 2: Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

1. Is the faithful friend. Everyone else, sooner or later, leaves us, and frequently when our days are especially filled with sadness, when we have the greatest need for comfort, we feel alone; but Jesus never quits us: I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world (Matt. xxviii: 20).

2. Is the food of our souls, which sustains us in the wearisome pilgrimage through this valley of tears and consoles us in the desert of this mortal life. The Bread of Life... the Bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, be may not die (John vi: 35-50).

3. Is the Victim for our sins: Corpus quod pro vobis datur, viz. that is sacrificed for us; Sanguis qui pro multis effunditur in remissionem peccatorum. So ardent was the desire of the Divine Master to die for us that He exhausted all His power, all His wisdom, and the treasures of His riches so that He might be immolated continually upon our altars.

Mary Most Holy.

Has contributed greatly to this ineffable gift.

1. The Virgin Mother ministered to Jesus the Flesh and the Blood which we adore and receive in the Divine Eucharist.

2. The Eucharist is the extension in time and in space of the Incarnation. Now, the Blessed Virgin, with her spotless virtues and her ardent prayers, merited, de congruo, as the theologians say, that the Son of God assume human flesh.

3. Almighty God sought the consent of the Immaculate Virgin for the incarnation of the Divine Word, and the acceptance of Mary was, in the Eternal Plan necessary for the new Alliance (Testamentum, Foedus), which of its nature supposes a bilateral act. God besought: Mary, most pure, most holy, accepted in the name of the human race. It is worthy of particular emphasis to note that the Blessed Jesus spoke of the new Pact at the last Supper and in the strictest relationship with the Holy Eucharist: He said, in fact, of the Blood contained in the Chalice that it is "the Blood of the New Testament": Hic est Sanguis Novi Testamenti (Matt. xvi: 28; Mark xiv: 24) and still more clearly, according to Saint Luke (xxii: 20) and Saint Paul (I Cor. xi: 25), that the Eucharistic Chalice is the New Testament in His Blood: Hic Calix Novum Testamentum est in meo Sanguine. Mary therefore having an essential part in the new Alliance, also has a necessary part in Holy Eucharist.

4. Mary is the mother of the Divine Saviour; it was by this title that the Angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds: This day is born to you a Saviour (Luke ii: 11). Moreover, the Son of God was born of Mary not only with a physical body, but also with a mystic body made of those he would save: So we being many, are one body in Christ (Rom. xii: 5); Because we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones (Eph. v: 30); hence since we are all found in Christ Jesus, we are all born of Mary. But how could the most holy Virgin be our Mother in the sense that Jesus dying on the Cross assigned her to us if she did not contribute effectively to give us supernatural life? For this is the very object of the Incarnation: I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly (John x: 10). Moreover the same Jesus proclaims that the sole source of life is His Flesh and His Blood: Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (John vi: 54).

We can do nothing less than to recognize that Mary has a great share in this ineffable gift of the Holy Eucharist.

Eve in the terrestrial Paradise carried to Adam the food of death; our first parent said this when God began his terrible investigation in the earthly Paradise, an instant after the fault: The woman thou gavest me, gave me of the fruit and I did eat (Gen. iii: 12); he might have added: And I am dead!

Mary, the new Eve, offers us a food too, the most Holy Eucharist, which is the food of life.

Venerable brethren, let there rise from our grateful, throbbing heart a hymn of thanksgiving to Jesus and to Mary.