30 October 2011

Rosary Musings: Fifth Luminous Mystery

The Fifth Luminous Mystery: the Institution of the Eucharist

Matthew 26:26-8:

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. 'Take it and eat,' he said, 'this is my body.'
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, 'Drink from this, all of you,
28 for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

And John 6:53-6 (I recommend reading the whole passage, though)

53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

source: http://www.maryourmother.net/Rosary.html
I think this might be my favourite of the Rosary mysteries, to be honest.  It absolutely amazes me that Jesus not only died and rose for us, but allows us to participate in that one, eternal sacrifice by giving us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist. 

I remember before I was Catholic, how I'd talk to a Catholic friend down the hall of my dorm.  I tried to convince myself that I was right and that she was wrong when it came to the Eucharist.  After all, didn't the OT forbid the consumption of blood?  So how could Jesus command it?  But it nagged at me, the "what if?" until I finally looked at it more.  I found that the consumption of blood was forbidden because the life was in the blood; Jesus brings home this point by declaring that we don't have life unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood.  Wow!  And if you read the rest of John 6, you see that the people gathered there understood Him to be speaking literally and were very offended.  But instead of correcting their misunderstanding (as He had about baptism/being born again just a few chapters earlier), He reiterates the point until many leave.  He doesn't tell His Apostles that those who left misunderstood or explain it as a parable, as was His wont in other cases, but just asks if they're leaving, too.  Seems fairly clear when I finally looked at it without my preconceived notions of what it should say.

Looking at Eucharistic miracles also helped convince me, especially the miracle at Lanciano

Sometimes I find that I take this amazing gift for granted, but with God's grace I hope to keep the freshness and wonder of it.  For truly, if I'm thinking about it, how could I not be amazed at this total gift of self, for someone such as me?!  This humbling of Himself just so we can approach?!  It's truly amazing, and I thank Him for it.

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