DAY 5: Source and Summit
Controlled chaos. Deafening silence. Bittersweet. Oxymorons like these are an amusing part of speech. They place together words that, at first glance, appear to be at odds with one another. Yet in context, they often make sense and even bring about greater clarity when dealing with the nuances of life. The Church, in her wisdom, gives us two seemingly contradictory terms to explain the primacy of the Eucharist: source and
summit. “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it” (CCC 1324).
Let’s dive a bit deeper into what is meant by “source and summit.” The Eucharist is the source of our Christian life. In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites a sweet bread called manna to sustain them while they journeyed toward the Promised Land. In the New Testament, Jesus miraculously multiplied bread to temporarily satiate the hunger of thousands. But, before his Passion and Death, Christ gave his very self by becoming bread to sustain us with his everlasting presence. To use an analogy, just as a television can only operate properly when plugged into an electrical socket, Christians only function properly when they are connected to the Living God. God becomes our food, the power source for the human soul. When you have a source of life, you can be a source of life.
The Eucharist is also the summit of our Christian life. The Eucharist is the pinnacle of our faith. There is no act of worship that is perfect or pleasing to the Father except for the obedience Christ offers to him, shown in its full glory through his Paschal Mystery. We have been given the chance to share in this worship through our participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is a foretaste of our heavenly
worship and our eternal reward. Christ’s True Presence in the Eucharist allows us the opportunity to encounter this reality daily. Sadly, we can forget about the primacy of the Eucharist by mistaking it for merely a symbol or reducing it to just another religious ritual. This can make us miss out on all the transformative graces available to us in the Blessed Sacrament. If we truly desire revival, we must desire a renewed encounter with Jesus. Luckily for us, God makes himself incredibly accessible to those who long for him. A miracle transpires at every liturgy. Through transubstantiation, God dwells with us in the form of bread and wine. Though our five senses cannot detect a change in the substances, the eyes of faith reveal that Christ is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For this reason, the Eucharist is the fount and apex—the source and summit—of every grace and blessing because the Eucharist is Christ, our Pasch. In the sacrifice of the Mass, God offers us a chance to participate in divine communion, sharing his own life with us. In the Eucharist we are offered a chance for a deep and personal encounter with Jesus, who is both the foundation of our faith as well as the height of it. That may seem like a contradiction, but it is a consistent truth. Today, let us not miss the love that awaits us in the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus, we thank you for your great gift of yourself in the Eucharist. Please give us the grace to believe in your True Presence when our human senses fail. We desire the eyes of faith because we believe you are the spring of every good thing. Nothing is better than you. Allow us to be good and pure vessels, ready to partake and receive you in the Blessed Sacrament. We believe; help our unbelief. Amen.
Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. If you have access to an adoration chapel, or even if it’s a visit to your church where Jesus is present in the Tabernacle, go and make an act of faith. You could pray, “Jesus, I believe that you are present here with me, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I pray for our Church, that all may come to believe in your Real Presence here.”