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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for June 18

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

June 18, 2017 —Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

John 6: 51-58
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Some years ago, a bishop in Nigeria wrote a letter describing a Eucharistic procession in Port Harcourt: “Yesterday was procession day. The Lord sent rain! All along the two mile route the people danced and sang in the rain. It was the first time I saw the Blessed Sacrament being carried to the sound of resounding cheering and clapping. No one thought of seeking shelter: Judges, doctors, mothers, children stood their ground as if nothing was happening except the Eucharist. I have not seen anything like it before, here or anywhere else.”

This kind of loving enthusiasm should encourage us to examine our own attitudes toward the Eucharist. It’s one of life’s tragedies that we can take for granted what matters most. Why? Psychologists say that we tend to get used to certain things and block them out. This is called habituation. It can be useful because it helps us block out distractions, like traffic noise.

But it has a negative side. After a while, we tend to habituate everything: sunsets, flowers, friends, parents, spouse, children. We lose appreciation of them and take them for granted. We then miss what’s most beautiful in life. One way to overcome this problem is to meditate, to focus, on a flower, a sunset, the face of a child, as if we were seeing it for the first time. Such meditation can make us more sensitive to people, to beauty, to truth ... to the Eucharist!

Let’s focus as we celebrate the Eucharist, listening attentively to the Scripture readings, joining in the prayers and singing with enthusiasm, meditating on Christ’s Real Presence. When we walk down the aisle to receive Communion, let’s turn our thoughts to the One we receive, the God we hope to see face to face on the other side of death. Let’s receive him with reverence and love.

We can all learn something from those worshipers in Nigeria. We don’t have to stand in the rain, clapping and cheering. But we can overcome habituation, and celebrate Mass with enthusiasm, fully attentive to the words of Jesus: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

 

 

 
             Read last week's reflection.