Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lumen Fidei and the Eucharist

ON THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, our Holy Father and Supreme Pontiff Francis released his encyclical Lumen Fidei. Co-authored with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the encyclical offers to the reader an invitation to the world of faith. "Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey" (57). The Church progresses through history on her way back to the Father in heaven. The food for this journey is the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 

As Pope Francis says: "In the Eucharist ... there is the dimension of history: the Eucharist is an act of remembrance, a making present of the mystery in which the past, as an event of death and resurrection, demonstrates its ability to open up a future, to foreshadow ultimate fulfilment. The liturgy reminds us of this by its repetition of the word hodie, the 'today' of the mysteries of salvation" (44). The Eucharist is not merely food for the journey back to the Father, not only is it a hope for a future in the light of faith, but it is an act of making present again where we are constantly reminded about the life of Christ on earth.

In John's Gospel, Christ said: "For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself (John 5:26)." Because Christ entered human history, the fullness of divinity took on the fullness of humanity, being born of the Virgin Mary. The fullness of Divine Love revealed Himself through the fullness of humanity so man could journey with Christ, participating in His divinity. The way we journey with Christ now through history is by eating His Body and drinking His Body under the earthly signs of bread and wine.

Pope Francis says: "All the truths in which we believe point to the mystery of the new life of faith as a journey of communion with the living God" (45). The journey back to heaven may be difficult at times, but being in communion with Christ through the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood enables us to be in communion with Him and thus with His Father, our Father. 

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