“Do this in memory of me.” These are the words Jesus spoke to His apostles during the Last Supper. In the hours following these words, human history changed. That night, when His friends left Him, when one betrayed Him, another denied Him, on that night Jesus accomplished His greatest, most mysterious work: the Institution of the Eucharist.
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. — Luke 22:14-20
Taking bread and wine, Jesus elevates two fruits of man’s labor and unites His “work” to man’s. Then He blesses it. To bless does not mean performing magic, but recognizing the deep meaning something or someone has in relation to God. In blessing, the Creator gives meaning to bread, wine, and human work. After offering Bread and Wine to the Father through the blessing, Jesus gives them to His disciples. We are asked to “take” into ourselves the Bread and Wine transformed into the living God. God lets us live His own life: a life of love.
The Last Supper encapsulates Jesus’ whole life; it gives meaning to the gift of His life and invites us to accept the fruits of this gift, this death. Every time we participate in the Mass, these fruits are present. With every Eucharist we recall the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
For us today, this “recalling” means imitating Christ and letting Him transform us. This act of love consummated on the cross is available to us in each Eucharist. Eating the Body of the Lord, He unites us to Himself, making His way of life our own.
St. John Marie Vianney writes: “All living things must eat to live, even the soul must eat. The greatest tragedy is ignoring this Divine Food as we seek to cross the desert of life.”
Let’s make time to adore God in the Blessed Sacrament. He is there, and He waits for us.
Before the Eucharist, we let ourselves be saved, purified by Jesus. We let Him do everything. Do not be afraid of silence, of having nothing to say because He comes to us and speaks.
St. Clare in her letter to St. Agnes writes: “Make Jesus the mirror where you can see your beauty. Place your mind in eternity and your soul in the splendor of His glory.”
The Eucharist is like a mirror. My image reflects Jesus and His reflects mine. Adoration is letting God love you so you can learn to love yourself and others. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Put your life in his hands so that your problems, fears, and joys can enter into the mystery of God, in the abyss of His love. In silence, we forget our struggles, our pride, our successes, and our failures. We rest in Him simply and trustingly. God is there. He listens and speaks to us.
Simone, a member of the AVI family in Italy shares his experience:
“When I met the Apostles, I shared different moments of prayer with them. At first I couldn’t live Adoration well: What am I supposed to do? What thoughts should I try to have? I admired the Apostles but I couldn’t do it. Over time I began to experience joy in being welcomed, in understanding that I didn’t have to try to do anything but be myself whether I was happy or discouraged, full of desires or wounded.
For me, Adoration means going to Jesus and putting my life under His gaze. This allows me to know He’s there even when I don’t feel Him. I see with His eyes and I can bring Him to those I meet also.”
I want to make St. Clare’s words my own. I will go before Jesus in the Eucharist and let Him illuminate and nourish me.