To receive and welcome Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is to behave like St. Joseph who lived in union with Jesus of Nazareth. In order to receive and welcome Jesus as Saint Joseph did, it is necessary to understand that Saint Joseph recognized in Jesus the simultaneous and inseparable presence of his humanity and his divinity. Joseph and Mary were certainly the people who most fully understood that, in Jesus, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Following Pope St. John Paul on this, we read: “From the time of the Annunciation, both Joseph and Mary found themselves, in a certain sense, at the heart of the mystery hidden for ages in the mind of God, a mystery which had taken on flesh: ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (Jn. 1:14). He dwelt among men, within the surroundings of the Holy Family of Nazareth – one of many families in this small town in Galilee, one of the many families of the land of Israel. There Jesus ‘grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favour of God was upon him’ (Lk. 2:40).” (Pope St. John Paul II. Redemptoris Custos, 15).
When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we are never alone. Eucharistic Communion is an eminently communitarian act. In Mass, we are in communion with all men of all times, through a mysterious and wonderful gift from God: through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, communion is made full. Thus, in receiving such a great benefit – the very God who gives himself in the Eucharist – the human heart is called to give thanks. But, how can we be worthy of such a great gift? Saint Joseph Marello guides very clearly: “the best thanksgiving for the great gift of the Most Holy Eucharist is to go and receive it frequently, if possible each day”. Therefore, at every Eucharistic Sacrifice, let us learn from St. Joseph to unite our hearts and minds with our Eucharistic Lord, for He is our God who surrenders to us and anticipates a union that aims to perpetuate itself throughout eternity: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever” (Jn. 6: 51).
Prayer: Lord God, grant us the grace and disposition to welcome Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and to be united with him just as Saint Joseph was united with Jesus at Nazareth all through his life; thus, learning from St. Joseph, we may come to live out the fruits of the Holy Mass. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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