Eucharistic Amazement

Last May 25, I attended the Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Jake Caballo in Baclayon, Bohol. This new salesian priest was my student way back during his high school years in Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC). Moreover, being assigned in Lourdes Shrine as a deacon, I also represented our Salesian Community with my presence. The homily was given by Fr. Fidel Orendain, his former high school Principal. After congratulating Fr. Jake, he told him: “Welcome to the cross!”

I was touched by this inspiring reminder of the priesthood. Fr. Fidel explained that some people may think it strange or weird that he is becoming a priest at a time when priesthood or religious life is no longer popular. Today the priest can be an easy target of ridicule; he can be bashed in social media, cursed, persecuted or even killed. It is the worst time to become a priest. Yet it is also the best time to be a witness of Jesus because when the priest begins to say mass, he also begins to suffer. And so this older priest mentors a young priest by advising him: “Welcome to the cross!”

Today, we celebrate Corpus Christi and we honor the Holy Body and Blood of Jesus. The Eucharist is a memorial of the Last Supper; the re-enactment of Jesus sacrifice on Calvary and completed in his resurrection. St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that the Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the Cross. For this reason, it is both a sacrament of his love and his greatest sacrifice for the remission of humanity’s sins.

As a Christian Community, we thank God for the gift of the Eucharist. We also need to pray unceasingly that priests will never be lacking in the Church. St. John Paul II used to say: “there can be no Eucharist without the priest.” I believe the Lord continues to call and inspire young people to the priesthood. But as believers, we need to continually awaken our Eucharistic amazement, our personal commitment to Christ, our love for the Eucharist, our fervor in celebrating it and our devotion in adoring it. As Pope John Paul II wrote: “from the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share it with others.”

Prayer: Lord, grant me a renewed amazement of your presence in the Eucharist so that I may have the strength to serve you in my daily life.

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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