When Mary Received the Eucharist
By Leslie W. Bertucci
Picture this scene: The Blessed Mother sits in her room, lost in thought. Perhaps, she is sitting in a chair made especially for her by Joseph or Jesus. She ponders the events of the previous months: her unspeakable sorrow as she watched her only son tortured and crucified; her elation at the wonderful news of his resurrection on Easter Sunday; seeing his glorified body with her own eyes.
She listened intently to her son’s final instructions before he ascended into heaven. She waited and prayed with the disciples for nine days in the upper room until, on the tenth day, fire, wind and Holy Spirit power!
She gladly fulfills her role as mother to all the disciples as they bring the new church to life. But she longs for her son with an ache that can only be understood by a mother who has lost a child. She misses the sound of his voice, his easy laugh, his warm embrace, the tender gaze he saved especially for her. She yearns to be with him again.
Then she remembers: Today is Sunday!
She hurries to join the community who is gathering to celebrate Mass. She smiles at the familiar faces and gives an encouraging nod to the newcomers. She lifts her voice in joyful praise to God. She listens as the Scriptures are proclaimed. She marvels at the wisdom with which Peter explains how the prophets of old foretold the coming of the Messiah.
Then comes the remembrance of his last supper, the very words he spoke, and then the miracle! What was once simply bread and wine actually becomes the body and blood of her only son.
The best part of all – she receives the body of the son she misses so much into her own body. She no longer misses him because they are now united as one, even more so than when he was a tiny baby in her womb.
What unspeakable joy! There is no more separation, no reason to grieve or long for him. He is here, really and truly present to her once more!
I wonder: Could we ever long for the real presence of Jesus as much as Mary did? Could we be filled with as much joy upon receiving him?