An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his tribe’s grandchildren about life.
He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me...it is a terrible fight; it is between two wolves.
One is the wolf of fear, anger, envy, ego, sorrow, guilt, regret, self-pity, insecurity, greed, arrogance, lies, false pride, blame, superiority, and resentment.
The other is the wolf of joy, peace, serenity, faith, hope, kindness, empathy, benevolence, compassion, friendship, generosity, truth, humility, forgiveness and love.
These two wolves fight inside each one of us; inside every person."
The children were silent for a while and then one child asked,
“Grandfather, which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied . . .
"The one you feed."
If we take on Christ, especially in the Eucharist, this communal sharing of a thanksgiving of the love of God found in Jesus Christ: we feed on His Body, and Blood - Soul and Divinity. Real Food and Real Drink that brings us to life everlasting.
In this communion we take within each one of us the Body and Blood of Christ; sharing in His gifts of:
- joy, peace, and serenity,
- We receive faith, which gives us hope,
- We take on His kindness and empathy; sharing His love with our suffering brothers and sisters.
- Partaking of this life-giving meal, we open ourselves to Christ’s compassion and friendship,
- Which fills us with His generosity, His truth, and His humility; enabling us to forgive and love as we are loved.
This is the real Food of Life. The Body and Blood – Soul and Divinity - very substance and essence of Jesus Christ.
At the sacrifice of each mass we are witness to a great miracle. This is something so extraordinary, so amazing, so magnificent and so unique to Catholics: that we have a special word to describe it, “transubstantiation.” -The changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
This miracle is Consecration, of mere bread and wine that are more than transformed – they are transubstantiated: becoming the Body and Blood of Jesus.
This is the moment that distinguishes Catholics from other Christians – our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist – We believe Jesus is present in the consecrated bread and wine. We reverence the Consecrated bread and wine for it is Jesus himself. As we consume His Body and Blood in the form of the bread and wine – we take Christ into ourselves – the perfect food and perfect drink; nourishing our souls, leading us to eternal life.
But taking into ourselves this Blessed Sacrament - is more than just consuming the Body and Blood – Soul and Divinity of Jesus – It is also our acceptance of Christ – the Word of God Incarnate - and all that He teaches.
- Love of God and love of neighbor.
- Care for those in need –
- Comfort to the suffering –
- Shelter for the homeless –
- Food for the hungry and drink for the thirsty –
- Welcome for the stranger.
The more we partake the Body and Blood of Christ - the more our lives grow in Him. We, in discipleship, grow closer to Him; seeking to love God above all things – and to love our neighbor - as we love ourselves.
This Eucharist is a call to abandon our secular-selves – to leave the lure of this world behind – turning away from those things that are fleeting and transitory – taking onto ourselves, the better part – our life in Christ Jesus.
When we take Christ onto ourselves, how can we – who have consumed His Body and Blood – Soul and Divinity –, return to our former lives?
How can we be unchanged – unaffected by this profound encounter, this experience of Jesus?
Being fed on His most precious gift - this Bread of Life, this Wine of the Everlasting Covenant - How can we, as His disciples, not take up our cross and allow Him to dwell within us.
As His disciples how can we –
- fail to hear, as He hears - the cries of the poor
- fail to see, as He sees - those in most need
- fail to feel, as He feels - the pain of those who suffer and mourn
- How can we not weep with His tears - for those in need of comfort and consolation
- How can we not reach out with His compassionate heart to those who are sorrowed and despaired; bringing them His hope and joy,
- How can we fail to love, as He loves - all our brothers and sisters
The Real Presence of Christ exists in the Blessed Sacrament, but the Real Presence of Christ also dwells within each one of us. We are His hands – we are His eyes – we are His voice. We are called to do His will; speaking His Truth - to all the world.
And in doing so, we feed the wolf of our better nature and in our Christian sense - take on Christ - who is – all those good attributes summed up in just one word - love. ~Amen