Today's first reading from the second Book of Kings 4:42-44 tells us the story of how prophet Elisha fed hundred people with twenty barley loaves even when his servant doubted and still had left overs after feeding them. In our gospel reading today from the gospel of Saint John 6:1-15, we read the story of the feeding of the five thousand by Jesus with five barley loaves and two fish, with twelve wicker baskets of leftover fragments after feeding them. In these two stories and miracles, we are reminded that God knows our needs even before we ask Him, as Jesus feeds the hungry multitude and so did Elisha the prophet. These two stories and miracles also prefigure the Holy Eucharist and its importance in our lives, thereby showing us how God cares for us by feeding and nourishing us with Christ’s body and blood. St. Paul in today’s second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-6 then urges us to “Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” With these words, St. Paul reminds us to be one in the Lord as the Holy Eucharist emphasizes and teaches us. So what is the Eucharist?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit. Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. Hence in brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith as Catholic Christians.

So, how important is the Eucharist to us as a Catholic Christian today especially since we have failed to participate actively, prayerfully, devoutly and liturgically in the celebration of the Mass? How important is the Eucharist to us when we have turned it into a show forgetting it is the greatest prayer of the Catholic Church and the source and summit of our Christian life? How important is the Eucharist to us when we have made the greatest Sacrament of the Church and the sacrifice of Christ about ourselves and not about God our creator, savior and redeemer, just for people to praise and glorify us instead of them to praise and glory God? How important is the Eucharist to us when we just show up for Mass to fulfill our Sunday obligation because it is required of us without being grateful and thankful to God for His gifts, graces, mercies and blessings upon us? Do not forget my dear friends in Christ that the Holy Eucharist or the Body and Blood of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is of great importance and significance to us as Catholic Christians because it augments and increases our union with the Lord; it preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace we received at Baptism; it strengthens our charity which tends to be weakened in daily life then commits us to the poor; it separates us from sin; it forgives us our venial sins, and it preserves us from future mortal sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between us and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. Hence, active participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass identifies us with Christ’s Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, there is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells than the Eucharist. So let us always actively, prayerfully, devoutly and liturgically participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass the heart and the summit of the Church's life, where Christ associates His Church and all her members with His sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to His Father and pours out the graces of salvation on us, His Body which is the Church. Amen!