Dear Friends, I want to wish all of the moms in our parish a blessed and joyful Mother’s Day. It is right and fitting that we should set aside one Sunday a year to honor all mothers for the continual sacrifice and loving care they give to their children - regardless of the children’s age. Thank you for mirroring God’s unconditional love to all of us by the way you love and care for your family. This is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Each year on this day the Church gives us the passage from John’s Gospel where Jesus declares Himself to be our Shepherd. He uses the metaphor of the shepherd to assure us of how well he knows us and his determination to provide for all of our needs. With the Good Shepherd in view, I think that the following (summarized) article, by Sr. Theresa Aletheia, is timely (published on Aleteia.org on 7/5/2016).
10 Amazing Facts about the Power of the Eucharist
Union with Christ: Reception of Jesus in the Eucharist fuses our being with that of Christ. The Christian journey is a journey to become like Christ, to “abide in him” and he in us. The Eucharist is the means for this to happen.
Destruction of venial sin: When we receive the Eucharist we are united with Charity himself, which burns away the vestiges of our venial sins and leaves us cleansed and ready to begin again.
Preservation from mortal sin: While we should refrain from receiving the Eucharist when we are aware of being in a state of mortal sin, we should receive the Eucharist as much as possible when we are able because it preserves us from grave sin.
Personal relationship with Jesus: Many Christians speak of the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus, which is very true. But it is primarily through the Eucharist that we can truly have an intimate encounter with the Person of Jesus.
Gives life: According to the Catechism, the Eucharist “preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism” (CCC 1392). In other words, reception of the Eucharist increases the life of grace already present within us.