THE ADVENT EUCHARIST: Transformation by Johnnette Benkovic
From Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life
Like Mary, our mother, we have been called by God to bring the life of Jesus Christ to the world. And like our mother, we, too, must be impregnated by the spirit of the gospel, imbued by the one whose name is Jesus Christ. We have considered the supreme degree to which our Holy Mother, assimilated to the Word of God, became a reflection of him whom she bore. She models for us the degree of transformation to which each of us is called.
Prayer, obedience, and acting with the wisdom of God lead us on the path of transformation. But it is when we receive into our bodies the one whose image we wish to reflect that we are most powerfully transformed. As Mary conceived Jesus in the confines of her body, we, too, are to conceive him in the wombs of our hearts. Through the gift of the Eucharist, we receive the very person of Jesus Christ, and in so doing become a chalice of his life.
To the extent we receive the Eucharist with faith and conviction and adore the heart of our Lord as given to us in the Blessed Sacrament, we encourage the transformation process God has begun in us. Pope Paul VI tells us that anyone who approaches this august sacrament with special devotion experiences how great is the value of communing with Christ, for there is nothing more effective for advancing on the road to holiness. At every moment of the day, throughout the world, Jesus offers himself to us in the form of bread and wine so that we might be nourished with his own body and blood. And we, suffering from spiritual blindness, do not recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
Authentic catechesis on the real presence has been absent from many religion classes for many years. This omission spans catechetical instruction from elementary schools to seminary courses. Many people under the age of forty have never been to any form of Eucharistic Adoration. However, they are not to be blamed. They only need to be instructed so that the spiritual benefits of the Eucharist can become a transforming agent in their lives.
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