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LIFE MATTERS: Reflection on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

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By Dr. Dencio Acop

As is often the case, the recent Renewal Seminar for us Lay Liturgical Ministers of the Diocese of Cubao was very well delivered by the Formator. It was very enlightening to say the least. It is what I love about the Catholic Church. I have been growing in the faith ever since I began serving as a lay minister in 2010. My late wife and I served in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish. I still do even after my wife died in 2018. In addition, we also served at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral between 2012 and 2018. It is both humbling and such a deep joy to hear Fr Ron Roberto say that we as lectors ‘facilitate the experience of and encounter with God’s mercy…’ by what we do. 

I have always believed in the real presence of Jesus in the holy eucharist. This belief was strengthened by serving as a lay liturgical minister. Fr Roberto’s presentation further affirmed this truth. I have also heard and read similar teachings affirming the real presence from other priests at EWTN and Bishop Robert Barron. I love how Fr Roberto developed his talk from John 6 to Pope Paul VI, and then on to the current rubrics of the mass. Going through the challenges to the real presence experienced by the church through the centuries (church fathers, 11th century, 13th century, 16th century, 20th century, and the current century), I am super-awed by the mysteries and truth of my faith. Before the seminar, I have only been aware of Transubstantiation, but not Transignification or Transfinalization. Whatever the latter two mean, I have absolutely no doubt in my firm belief that Jesus IS the Holy Eucharist. In fact, two years ago I came across Saint Acutis’ compilation of all the miracles associated with the consecrated host up and down the centuries. I posted one miracle each day on social media until I exhausted all the miracle accounts. The sharing was part of my attempts to help evangelize as a member of the mystical body of Christ over the years.

The presentation further affirmed my belief that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is indeed the height and summit of the Christian faith; that it is the highest form of prayer. Where the unblemished sacrifice of Christ, along with our blemished human sacrifices perfected by Christ, becomes acceptable to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that by the time we are blessed out once more into the sinful world by the In Persona Christi Copitus, we would have been thankful to the Blessed Trinity for that grace. 

I especially liked Fr Roberto’s exhortation about God not needing us but us needing Him. And that unworthy as we all are, Christ makes us worthy through the Holy Eucharist along with the other sacraments made available by the Universal Church. It was very humbling when Fr Roberto gave examples how we lectors or church servers can sometimes be consumed by our own sinfulness — ego and pride — where we sometimes forget that our service is not about us. That it is not even about perfecting the rubrics of the mass more than it is about us facilitating the Epiclesis of God’s mercy to all who are in need. And boy, aren’t we all in need of something from God whether we know it or not? And that by doing the will of the Father in this manner, we participate in the Anamnesis of God’s mercy to effect the salvation of more and more souls in the world.        

Further, I was impacted by Fr Roberto’s critical message about the true meaning of love and my role in it as a lay minister. He said something about unconditional love which hit the cord. Most often than not, I tend to look at the world through merely black and white lens. Perhaps unwittingly, I lose sight of the fact through such attitude that it was the way the Pharisees and Scribes of old looked down on anyone who did not literally follow the 613 Jewish commandments. That the message of unconditional love was precisely the mission of Jesus who came to perfect imperfect love that all may be saved — redeemed by His Father in heaven. The incarnation was meant in order to make possible human participation in his own salvation and redemption back to his Creator. Jesus was that perfect model of the Christian life. He came to show us the way. But he cannot do it all. Just as Jesus came down to participate in salvation history, we too must carry our own crosses to deserve our own salvation. For God does not need us but we do need him. But only if we want it. 

Finally, a bottom-line take-away for me is what Fr Roberto said about our needed participation in the work of Christ for our own salvation – towards seeing beyond the veil of human weakness and transcending it despite our fallen nature. For despite the tangible presence of Christ through the holy eucharist prosecuted in the sacraments by the universal church, most people fail to seek their own salvation. It is therefore my role as a lay minister to participate in the work of evangelization by facilitating the flow of God’s mercy and grace through the fallen world. The more souls I am able to help bring before the eucharist of Christ, the more souls I help toward their own salvation which is what my Lord wants. But I should begin with myself first. Because by consuming Christ, we become conformed to Him despite our default in sinfulness. By consuming the body and blood of Christ, we begin to recognize the presence of Christ in each other. It is through holy communion that we are able to go through the curtains of our own weaknesses and limitations. Because on our own, there is no way that we can expect the perfection of love in this dysfunctional world. It is only through the practice of real love that we can transcend our human weaknesses. And this is only made possible through Christ, the lamb of God, whose perfect sacrifice redeemed all of mankind from its fallenness back to God, its Father and Creator. Prosecuted through the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the eucharist in the holy mass. Where I am participating as a co-worker of Christ. So help me God. Amen.        

REFLECTION on The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

By Dencio Acop

21 September 2022

As is often the case, the recent Renewal Seminar for us Lay Liturgical Ministers of the Diocese of Cubao was very well delivered by the Formator. It was very enlightening to say the least. It is what I love about the Catholic Church. I have been growing in the faith ever since I began serving as a lay minister in 2010. My late wife and I served in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish. I still do even after my wife died in 2018. In addition, we also served at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral between 2012 and 2018. It is both humbling and such a deep joy to hear Fr Ron Roberto say that we as lectors ‘facilitate the experience of and encounter with God’s mercy…’ by what we do. 

I have always believed in the real presence of Jesus in the holy eucharist. This belief was strengthened by serving as a lay liturgical minister. Fr Roberto’s presentation further affirmed this truth. I have also heard and read similar teachings affirming the real presence from other priests at EWTN and Bishop Robert Barron. I love how Fr Roberto developed his talk from John 6 to Pope Paul VI, and then on to the current rubrics of the mass. Going through the challenges to the real presence experienced by the church through the centuries (church fathers, 11th century, 13th century, 16th century, 20th century, and the current century), I am super-awed by the mysteries and truth of my faith. Before the seminar, I have only been aware of Transubstantiation, but not Transignification or Transfinalization. Whatever the latter two mean, I have absolutely no doubt in my firm belief that Jesus IS the Holy Eucharist. In fact, two years ago I came across Saint Acutis’ compilation of all the miracles associated with the consecrated host up and down the centuries. I posted one miracle each day on social media until I exhausted all the miracle accounts. The sharing was part of my attempts to help evangelize as a member of the mystical body of Christ over the years.

The presentation further affirmed my belief that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is indeed the height and summit of the Christian faith; that it is the highest form of prayer. Where the unblemished sacrifice of Christ, along with our blemished human sacrifices perfected by Christ, becomes acceptable to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that by the time we are blessed out once more into the sinful world by the In Persona Christi Copitus, we would have been thankful to the Blessed Trinity for that grace. 

I especially liked Fr Roberto’s exhortation about God not needing us but us needing Him. And that unworthy as we all are, Christ makes us worthy through the Holy Eucharist along with the other sacraments made available by the Universal Church. It was very humbling when Fr Roberto gave examples how we lectors or church servers can sometimes be consumed by our own sinfulness — ego and pride — where we sometimes forget that our service is not about us. That it is not even about perfecting the rubrics of the mass more than it is about us facilitating the Epiclesis of God’s mercy to all who are in need. And boy, aren’t we all in need of something from God whether we know it or not? And that by doing the will of the Father in this manner, we participate in the Anamnesis of God’s mercy to effect the salvation of more and more souls in the world.        

Further, I was impacted by Fr Roberto’s critical message about the true meaning of love and my role in it as a lay minister. He said something about unconditional love which hit the cord. Most often than not, I tend to look at the world through merely black and white lens. Perhaps unwittingly, I lose sight of the fact through such attitude that it was the way the Pharisees and Scribes of old looked down on anyone who did not literally follow the 613 Jewish commandments. That the message of unconditional love was precisely the mission of Jesus who came to perfect imperfect love that all may be saved — redeemed by His Father in heaven. The incarnation was meant in order to make possible human participation in his own salvation and redemption back to his Creator. Jesus was that perfect model of the Christian life. He came to show us the way. But he cannot do it all. Just as Jesus came down to participate in salvation history, we too must carry our own crosses to deserve our own salvation. For God does not need us but we do need him. But only if we want it. 

Finally, a bottom-line take-away for me is what Fr Roberto said about our needed participation in the work of Christ for our own salvation – towards seeing beyond the veil of human weakness and transcending it despite our fallen nature. For despite the tangible presence of Christ through the holy eucharist prosecuted in the sacraments by the universal church, most people fail to seek their own salvation. It is therefore my role as a lay minister to participate in the work of evangelization by facilitating the flow of God’s mercy and grace through the fallen world. The more souls I am able to help bring before the eucharist of Christ, the more souls I help toward their own salvation which is what my Lord wants. But I should begin with myself first. Because by consuming Christ, we become conformed to Him despite our default in sinfulness. By consuming the body and blood of Christ, we begin to recognize the presence of Christ in each other. It is through holy communion that we are able to go through the curtains of our own weaknesses and limitations. Because on our own, there is no way that we can expect the perfection of love in this dysfunctional world. It is only through the practice of real love that we can transcend our human weaknesses. And this is only made possible through Christ, the lamb of God, whose perfect sacrifice redeemed all of mankind from its fallenness back to God, its Father and Creator. Prosecuted through the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the eucharist in the holy mass. Where I am participating as a co-worker of Christ. So help me God. Amen.        

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