3 Amazing Effects of the Eucharist
Crazy Rich Asians Poster
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
I was looking for some inspiration for this Sunday’s reflection and so, I decided to go to a movie theatre to see what’s showing. As I browse through the titles, I was drawn to this one interesting title … CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Using the title, I tried applying the words to myself and so I said: “CRAZY … Am I crazy? Hmm Maybe when I’m thrilled or when I’m amazed!” “RICH … in what? And so I said, “in the Goodness of GOD!” (no one’s going to top that, for sure!) “ASIANS … well, yes, I am ASIAN and that’s my identity!” In fact, I am so Asian, that most of the time, I could be mistaken for a Chinese, or Vietnamese, and even Thai!” “I am so Asian, I eat Balut!” “I am so Asian, that wherever I go I can tell if the person is Asian or not by his/her words or actions or even by his/her physical features. And so, the title applies to me in a certain sense.
This Sunday, we are still drawn to reflect on Jesus as the “Living Bread.” For the past Sundays, this has been a recurring theme. And so, it becomes clearer to us now that as Jesus calls Himself the Living Bread, He principally directs us to the Eucharist. But as the Eucharist becomes too common for us, we pose the same question as in the title, CRAZY RICH ASIANS “Does the Eucharist still AMAZE us? Or in a sense, make us CRAZY?” “Do we see the RICHNESS of God’s LOVE and GOODNESS each time we receive Him in the Eucharist?” “Can we identify ourselves with Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist?” or “Do we become like Jesus whom we receive as Bread and Wine, His BODY and BLOOD?”
To awaken our love for the Eucharist, allow me to share 3 of its Amazing Effects (among many others):
1. Union with the Body of Christ, the Church: When we were baptized, we were "incorporated" into the Body of Christ and so we become members of the Church and heirs of the Kingdom of God. The Eucharist is like a "glue," its unifying factor that unites every member of the Church together as one each time we participate in the Eucharistic liturgy and so, our coming to Church is also our reunion ... our homecoming to the very community that Christ established Himself.
A new study by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation has found that serving garlic bread with spaghetti helps families get along better. In the experiment, those families who smelled and ate garlic bread not only cut down on the number of negative interactions between family members by nearly a quarter and positive interactions actually increased by 7.4 percent. The ones most likely affected by the garlic bread were older males, especially fathers, as the aroma of the bread induced nostalgic feelings in them. The study concluded: “Serving garlic bread at dinner enhanced the quality of family interactions. This has potential application in promoting and maintaining shared family experiences, thus stabilizing the family unit. It also may have utility as an adjunct to family therapy.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus claims that he is the true Bread from Heaven, which will make us members of the heavenly family for all eternity.
Eucharistic Participation Motivators
What are the motivating factors which bring us to come to Church every Sunday or Holy Day of obligation?
2. Intimate Relationship with Jesus. A lot of us would like to have a closer relationship with Jesus. We wanted to be connected to Him. But at times we find it difficult to do so. How can I personally relate to a God whom I cannot see? But the Eucharist has the clearest answer. Why? Because He is PRESENT in the Eucharist under various tangible/concrete signs!
In one of the retreats I attended a long time ago, we spent one session looking for a clearest “image” we have of God and I remembered taking the image of a fountain – a fountain that doesn’t run out of water but constantly flows as in eternity. It is clear … it is clean … it is flowing … it is life giving which for me is GOD himself. But the Eucharist itself is a tangible image. If we want to have a closer and personal relationship with God, SEE him frequently in the Eucharist. No, not just SEE Him, RECEIVE Him in the Eucharist!
3. It places our Daily Activities at its Center: What motivates or who moves our daily activities? If we truly understand the true essence of the Eucharist, we would begin to place our lives around Holy Communion. There is nothing more important than that. The rest is only secondary priority. Some spiritual writers would even say that if we put the sacraments as in a pyramid, at the top of it would be the Sac. of the Eucharist, "the summit and font of all our Christian life." If we center our lives around the Eucharist then all our daily activities would simply flow from it.
This 85-year-old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. They had been in good health for the last ten years, mainly due to their interest in healthful food and exercise.
When they reached the Pearly Gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen, a master bath suite and a Jacuzzi. As they “ooohed and aaahed,” the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. “It’s free,” Peter replied, “this is Heaven.”
Next they went to see the championship golf course that their Heavenly home backed up to. St. Peter told them they would have golfing privileges every day. The old man asked, “What are the greens fees?” Peter’s reply, “This is Heaven; you play for free.”
Next they went to the clubhouse and saw a lavish buffet laid out for them. “How much does it cost to eat?” asked the old man. “Don’t you understand yet? This is Heaven! It’s free!” Peter replied. “Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?” the old man asked timidly. Peter smiled and said, “That’s the best part…you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven.”
The old man looked angrily at his wife and said, “You and your bran muffins! I could have been here ten years ago!”
But really, should we wait for Heaven before we could experience such wonder?
Going back to the movie. Well, I don’t like spoilers and so I’m not spoiling the movie for you in this Mass. But if there is one beautiful thing that I learned from Crazy Rich Asians, it is this: The greatest riches of all is not determined by how much wealth we have in our banks, but how much risk we are willing to take to fight for the person we love so dearly. As in the Eucharist, Jesus fought for us. He never left us with NOTHING. In fact, He left us a living memorial of Himself, the Eucharist. How crazy rich could we become to realize that or how crazy rich are we to simply take it for granted?