EUCHARIST: LOVE SCHOOL
“God saw that the best way to help man was getting into our heart, getting into our nature, being one of us and walking with us, that is how God marked humanity” (Fray Joao Domingos OP)
God did not find another way to perceive and to get closer to us, thus to get into our reality and to become one of us and walk with us, giving us support as walkers in this world, where we usually are disappointed, sad and desperate, just like Emmaus disciples. God knows our susceptibilities and potentialities.
We bring our reflection about the topic of Eucharist as school of love and looking at the Gospel of Luke (Luke 24, 13-35). This text is very interesting, because Luke shows us the great mystery of Eucharist, a never-ending source of our salvation.
During our lives and our formative journey and beyond, we have heard many reflections about Eucharist. However, today (and always), we need to see Eucharist as the great school of love where Jesus invites us to divest of ourselves and to accept our condition of children of God who loves us.
In Jesus’ school everybody is equal, independently of social classes. There is no more or less intelligent student and it does not matter if you are a doctor, have a Master or other academic degree. In this school, these degrees lose their value, they do not exist. Everybody is disciple from the youngest to the eldest. Everybody is equal in all quadrants of human existence.
In this school, the great Master does not get tired of explaining different topics, because he knows that we are men and women without intelligence or wisdom and we are slow for understanding some things, but He, conscious about this, tries over and over again patiently to clarify everything, just like he did with Emmaus disciples.
Every student in Jesus’ school can understand that the sense of our lives is in the Eucharist, as it is the certainty of our salvation and the greatest expression of divine love. This is because everybody who participates in this school is called to recognize the Lord in the great mystery of the Eucharist in the celebration of the Holy Mass, to recognize Him in the innumerable experiences of everyday and it takes us to contemplate God’s love in the present, or as it is taught by Saint Tomas Aquinas: “Eucharist encompasses three time dimensions. It is a memory or a reminder of Christ’s deliver to the death, a powerful signal of his hidden presence here and now and an anticipation of the banquet of his Kingdom in the future.” (taken from “Night of the confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty” by Thomas Halik, page 86).
It is not enough that we recognize him, but as Saint Luke says and teaches us, we must announce and give testimony of Him. Thus, we will find beauty and the sense for following Jesus. Once we have received Jesus, we will be taken to the continuous learning of different ways of growing in an active and hard-working love. We are called to go out with good disposition, because we recognize him and without taking the risk of arriving late as those two great Emmaus disciples did. “In that same time, they were on their way and got back to Jerusalem…and they talked about what had happened on their way and how they were taught how to break the bread.” Eucharist as love school will take us to be less selfish, egocentric, miserly, lazy, jealous and incredulous. Eucharist will start a continuous process of donation, of gift in us. It is not about just giving things to others, but also to give things to ourselves. If Jesus offers and gives himself to others is for when Eucharist is finished, we know how to imitate him, giving to others and ourselves.
We will not participate in Eucharist only thinking about ourselves, in our pity or saintliness. If He is the school of love, let’s learn to love him according to the example of the trinity.
In these days, when the world is being devastated by COVID-19, we are invited to recognize God. These are difficult moments humanly speaking, but also it is a time for gratitude, a time for getting back to God, a time to strengthen our personal and communitarian bonds. It is also a time for helping those in need who live around us providing material, spiritual, moral and social help.
Maria Domingas Oliveira Reais (DMR)
Sao Martin de Porres Community.