Last week at our monthly study group on Pope Francis’ encyclical Evangelii Gaudium we asked the question, What is the greatest need you see around you? One friend, who gets to talk with many people each day, responded that everyone is hungry for love.
It is common to find people in situations of loneliness or bearing heavy burdens and who are also not being treated with kindness by those around them. In these people the hunger for love is the strongest.
There is love a plenty available for everyone, but most people don’t know where to find it.
How few there are who know the secret.
Those who kneel in Church and hear the wonderful words, ‘This is My Body, given for you’, ‘This is My Blood, poured out for you’, they know the secret.
No greater love there is than to lay down your life for someone else, and Jesus has done that for each of us. And He has gone further than that and provided us a way to receive that gift daily, and to be able to have an intimate relationship with Him.
That is where to go to receive the love we are all so desperately in need of, and the only love that truly satisfies – to Mass, to receive Holy Communion, and to sit in the loving presence of Jesus reserved in the consecrated hosts in the tabernacle.
Once a week on Sundays isn’t enough for our need for love OR for His need to lavish us with that love. Daily Mass and frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament are. Each day we need that concrete reminder of His love.
Some dull their hunger for love with possessions or ambitious power, or with substance abuse or casual relationships, but they never satisfy and they leave a bitter taste and wounds that don’t heal.
Today in some parts of the world the feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated, for the rest of us we will celebrate it on Sunday. It is a day to give thanks for this magnificent awe inspiring gift of love. It is also a day to remind others of the greatness of this gift, and to invite others to take hold of it.
All of us have at least one friend who doesn’t know about this source of love. It is time to invite them to investigate the claims of the Catholic Church. We believe that Jesus becomes truly present under the form of bread and wine when the priest prays the words of consecration. Now that’s a very big and extraordinary claim. If true, it changes absolutely everything. If it is not true, then you can ignore it. But you cannot sit on the fence about it, because this claim is too big to not be investigated thoroughly.
Where to start investigating? Read the appropriate sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Look up all the associated footnotes. Read what the early Christian writers of the first, second and third centuries had to say. Find out about the many Eucharistic miracles that have happened over the centuries, Lanciano, Orvietto-Bolsena, Cascia, Siena etc. Go to Mass, and experience it for yourself. Go and sit quietly in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus, and experience it for yourself.
May the Holy Spirit guide your search, and guide your hunger to the only source of love that truly satisfies.