Day 16: How Holy is this Feast

How holy is this feast
in which Christ is our food
His passion is recalled,
Grace fills our hearts,
and we receive a pledge of his glory to come!

This prayer of St Thomas Aquinas is one of the first prayers I learned by heart as a child.

Found in a little book of prayers presented to me at my Confirmation, I have said it at every Mass of my life, after receiving Communion. That moment after receiving Christ’s body and blood is a time to spend in quiet contemplation and thanksgiving for the great gift we have received.

The prayer, as succinct as it is, expresses some of the deep aspects of the Eucharist.  Christ invites us to this feast.  He is the one who makes it holy.  He is both the host of the banquet and the food itself.  He welcomes us and feeds us with the gift of his very self.

The past, present and future are gathered and united.  The benefits of Christ’s saving death are made available to us, filling us with grace as we receive the presence of the risen Lord, and look forward the life of heaven and the glory of his coming again.

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