Today is the feast of St. Albert. He wrote a wonderful little piece on the Eucharist which I would like to share. My translation, again, from the Italian:
“‘He that eats of me will live by me’ (John 6.57). Nothing more loving could be commanded of us. This truly is the sacrament that creates love and unity. It is a sign of the greatest love to give oneself in food….’so much did I love them and they me that I wanted to find myself in them and they to receive me in themselves in such a way that incorporated into me they might become my body.’ “
Albert then goes on to link this to the eternal banquet in heaven with the saints:
“Nothing verily can be commanded of us more fitting for eternal life. In fact, eternal life exists and endures because God communicates himself and his happiness to the saints, the blessed ones in heaven.”
Albert’s thoughts certainly reflect the teaching of Vatican II, which said that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. Jesus is the source of all that is good in our lives and he communicates himself body and soul to us in the Eucharist. He is thus our source. And the Eucharist we celebrate each Sunday is a participation in the heavenly banquet of the saints in glory where God communicates himself to the saints in the beauty of heaven. That is the summit, is it not, of our union with God, in Jesus through his Spirit?
O God, who made St. Albert great in the search for harmony between human wisdom and revealed Truth, let it be that, illuminated by his teaching, through the progress of science we may grow in knowledge of you and your love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen