We know as Catholics that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life.
Christ himself is present in the Eucharist in the most sublime manner. It makes sense, then, that the Eucharist should be central to the spiritual and sacramental life of Catholics. To say the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian spirituality means several important things. First, that the Christian life of prayer flows from the Eucharist as its source, the way light streams forth from the sun. And second, that the life prayer of Christians is the summit of all sacraments to which all our actions should ultimately be directed. Christian spirituality, then, is a two-way street. It leads us to the Eucharist as our starting point out into the world of daily life, and it takes us back home to the Eucharist after our sojourn in this world. A full and serious prayer life sincerely expressed and authenticated is a powerful means of renewing the world according to the will of the Almighty.
This evening we pray in a special way for an end to the pandemic and a resolution to the many different emotions we are experiencing these days. Among the intentions we bring before the Lord at this Mass are for those who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic, for those families in our community affected by the pandemic. For those who provide care to those who are elderly and ill. For those to whom we have given the responsibility and trust to govern us with wisdom and justice. We do not, though, forget those other souls who, during the months since the beginning of this pandemic, have also gone to their eternal reward. We pray for those all who have lost loved ones and who may not have been able to fully grieve in the way they had hoped. It is our wish that this gesture of offering Mass for their intentions will be a source of some consolation and healing for us all.
As we enter this very chapel, we pass by the many portraits of alumni who have died. We take this opportunity as well to remember them. The Eucharist is the definitive and fullest expression of hope. A hope that reminds us that our hearts are restless until we enter the Kingdom of Heaven, our final home, a place of eternal life of happiness and joy.
In these days, when we are unable to attend Mass, we are perhaps, being called to a renewal of our sacramental life, a spirituality that may have often become too absent or undervalued in our personal and collective lives as believers. I wonder whether or not we are being asked to make a real and honest recommitment and a genuine rediscovery of the centrality of the Eucharist and our responsibility to ensure that each Mass is celebrated with dignity, integrity and beauty.
But we do not rely only on our own strength but on the help and grace of the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, the Eucharist is a powerful source of charity, fulfilling the greatest commandment that is to say the love of God and neighbour.
As is our custom, we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and St. Joseph.
Oh Mary, you always brighten our path as a sure sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain but remained steadfast in faith. Loving Mother, you know what we need, and we are confident your Son will provide for us as he did at Cana in Galilee. Intercede for us with your Son, Jesus, the Divine Physician, for those who have fallen ill, for those who are vulnerable, and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for the success of therapies and vaccines. Help us, or Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus. He took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows, so as to lead us, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection. Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. In our needs, despise not our petitions, but deliver us always from all dangers, Oh, glorious and Blessed Virgin. Faithful St. Joseph, Patron of Canada and Protector of the Institute, intercede for us in these challenging days. Amen.
Brother Domenic, fsc
Mass – January 13, 2021