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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
(Part 174)

THE BIBLE AND THE EUCHARIST

March 30, 2016
Today’s gospel: Luke 24:13-35


For the New Evangelization to proceed according to the intent of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit, there are a number of essential elements. In particular, there are the Bible and the Eucharist. Now these have always been at the core of Catholic life. However, these are the neglected essentials. Most lay Catholics do not know the Bible. Most lay Catholics no longer go regularly to Sunday Mass. But these are the two essential means by which Catholics can really meet and know Christ.

At the onset of the original evangelization after the resurrection of Jesus, he appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Despite all “the things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (v.19b), despite Jesus having told them “that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (v.26), they were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke” (v.25b). But all that changed when, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.” (v.27).

The Bible is the word of God. It is a two-edged sword that cuts through our very being. The two disciples said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (v.32). It is through the Bible that we meet Christ and are taught how to live Christ. It is how we are led to share Christ. As St. Jerome says, ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ. We can never effectively do the New Evangelization unless we are steeped in the word of God. We must read the Bible every day, meditate on it, study it.

The Eucharist in turn is the summit of Christian life and worship. It is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which is at the core of our faith. “And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.” (v.30). The Eucharist is when we actually receive the very body and blood of our Savior. It is where we are reminded of the essential elements of our faith--repentance, mercy, forgiveness, communion, peace, unity, and the commission to evangelize. It is where we truly meet Christ. “With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (v.31a).

We can, we must, have the experience of the two disciples. “Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” (v.35). We must embrace the Bible and the Eucharist, if we are truly to meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ.

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