July 30, 2006

The Church is alive because of the Eucharist

Ecclesia de Eucharistia vivit


After the Lord's ascension, the apostles returned to the "upper room" and "All these [the apostles] with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with ... Mary the mother of Jesus" [Acts 1:14]. Since Nazareth, she has already known the coming of "power from on high." She is a model for the apostles of how to say to the Spirit of God, "Behold, the servant of the Lord— let it be to me according to your word."

The apostles gather in the same "upper room" in which was "born" the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Jesus ... in the upper room "together ... with Mary"— the one who first bore the Son of God in Flesh and Blood in her own womb.

Just as "by the power of the Holy Spirit" the Son of God was born of Mary, so the apostles "by the power of the Holy Spirit" are born into their mission to go out as the Church— the Body of Christ— and to make disciples.

In the Upper Room— "Birth Chamber of the Eucharist"— the apostolic Church receives power from on high— through the intercession of Mary the Mother of Jesus. That is what we recognize in the first chapter of the Book of Acts.

The Eucharistic Chamber, the Apostolic Church, the Mother of Jesus ... all three are united so that Power might come from on high. What an "icon" of the Communion of Saints!

On the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, through the intercession of the saints and the Mother of the Lord, the Spirit of Power came upon the Church in that Eucharistic Chamber. The Church went from the Chamber and inspired three thousand men to be born again in baptism that same day.

Indeed, in the words of Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia vivit— "The Church is alive because of the Eucharist".