Day Eighteen – “This is My Body…This is My Blood”

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While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

The first celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist took place at the Last Supper when Jesus instituted both the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist in the presence of His Apostles. The offering of this ritual Sacrifice culminated in His physical sacrifice upon the Cross, when He drank the bitter wine and exclaimed, “It is finished!” Our Blessed Mother witnessed this eternal outpouring as she stood at the foot of the Cross. As she did so, she adored every drop of His Precious Blood falling to the ground to sanctify the world.

After the Resurrection, our Blessed Mother was privileged to share in her Son’s life in a new and profound way, every time she shared in the feast of the Holy Eucharist. She drank her Son’s own Precious Blood and ate His Sacred Body as she joined the Apostles for the Holy Mass.

The image of the suffering and death of her Son was forever burned into her mind and stamped upon her heart. But the union she shared with Him through her reception of Holy Communion brought perfect clarity to His suffering and death. With every reception of His Body and Blood, she also received His Soul and Divinity. In this gift of the Eucharist, she experienced His closeness like never before and knew that His death on the Cross was the source of her new and profound union with Him. No longer was He someone whom she gazed at from a distance with love. No longer was He someone whom she carried only in her womb. He was now someone whom she consumed and thus entered into her own heart and soul in the deepest way.

As she gazed at Him and saw Him breathe His last, all earthly hope of being with Him was lost. But in that moment, as He cried out, “It is finished!”, her relationship with her Son was forever changed. His life had been given back to God the Father, yet she was among the first to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.

Reflect, today, upon the deep relationship that our Blessed Mother had with her Son. Her communion with Jesus reached a new and more profound level of love as she was privileged to receive Him into her body and soul in the Holy Eucharist. We too are all called to this same depth of communion with Jesus. We too are all invited to become one with Him as we partake of the gift of the Holy Mass. Reflect upon how deeply you believe in the presence of our Lord in this Sacrament. Reflect upon how completely you open yourself to the graces of this Gift. Recommit yourself to being consumed by our Lord as you consume His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Know that the union you are called to live with Him is on account of His glorious gift of the Cross.

My loving Mother, as you gazed upon your Son you saw Him breathe His last. You watched Him die and offer His life for the salvation of the world. But you also saw so much more. As you saw His sacrifice come to completion, you also saw it transformed into a new beginning. You witnessed the beginning of the Most Holy Eucharist of which you were privileged to partake for the rest of your life.

My dear Mother, pray that I may have the grace of a faithful participation in the reception of the Body and Blood of your Son. May I, like you, receive Him with the utmost faith and allow His saving Sacrifice to consume every part of my soul.

My dear Lord, You gave us the Eucharist as the gift of Your continual presence among us. In this precious gift, You invite me to enter into communion with You on a profound level. As I gaze at Your Cross and see Your Blood poured out, help me to open my soul like a sponge soaking up Your divine presence. Unite Yourself with me, dear Lord, as I give myself to You.

Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Next: Day Nineteen – The Agony in the Garden

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