2,000 years ago on a warm sunny evening on the floor of a house, later named the meeting place, a great miracle took place.
Jesus took the bread and gave a piece to each disciple saying, "This is my body." Then He took a cup of wine and said, "This is my blood." And the next day, His flesh hung on the cross, and blood poured from His pierced side, washing away the sins of the world.
You will notice that all this happens under Roman occupation. Rome collapsed, the empire crumbled into dust. The Middle Ages were plagued by various wars and invasions. Many powers were reduced to rubble. Many tried to take possession of the German empire and the church, even today and they cannot. Napoleon attempted to capture the whole world, and what is there to show for his work?
2000 years have passed, people are born and die, states rise up and perish, wars keep coming...and here.
A white piece of bread still lasts and lasts.
No better way for Christ to become present among us.
St. Augustine once said: Despite the fact that God is Almighty, He could not give anything more. Despite the fact that in His wisdom He could not give anything more and despite His immense wealth He had no more to give us...but gave Himself in the Eucharist.
So much power and strength in this bread. So much kindness and concern for it to be with us. This love God bestowed becomes vulnerable. This love tells us to come and eat of this bread, because by doing so we are becoming like Him. This love we shut up in the Tabernacle and yet He still hears us. Listens to our requests and almost invisibly He changes us and helps us to become better.
Maybe it is just as well that we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist on a week day. On a day when we have a lot of everyday routines and responsibilities. Because we must realize the Eucharist cannot be something festive for special occasions or as a reward for the select few. Eucharist must become for us an everyday desire as daily bread.
So thank Jesus today for always being present among us.
Let us give thanks for priests, that due to them God is made present in the bread and that we have an easy access to Him.
And today, let us ask that we never run out of priests in our lives.