April 4, 2012

The Mystery of the Lord's Supper and the Faith of those who Hope

Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, when he was Archbishop of Saigon, was sent to prison and not allowed to exercise his ministry for thirteen years. On occasion, family and friends found ways to get particles of bread and a dropper full of wine to him explaining that he needed this "medicine." With this "medicine" the prisoner would celebrate Mass in secret and then give communion to his fellow prisoners. Through the mystery of the Lord's Supper, these prisoners found the strength to face their own Calvary and to become a source of hope for others.

When his friends and family said they were providing medicine, they were telling the truth -- the Eucharist is the medicine of immortality, and the Mass has real power to heal. This is because Christ feeds us with Himself and his life transforms our suffering and weakness. With his strength in us, our hardships are changed. Nothing can separate us from the love of God and with this love, we constantly discover new ways of loving those God sends to us.  The Cardinal's witness helps us see that no matter how desperate the plight in which we find ourselves, with the Eucharist we find ever deeper reasons for hope.

"If you wish to strengthen your faith
you must nourish yourself with the blessed Eucharist,
which is the "Mystery of Faith" and fortifies faith."
Road to Hope, 80