Taste and See that the Lord is Good
by Bishop Paul S. Loverde – Catholic Exchange
What do we mean by the goodness of the Lord? There are so many ways to describe God’s goodness. Basically, His goodness is revealed in His unfailing and ever-present love for each of us from the first moment of human life at conception through human death and beyond. We are not always aware of His love; sometimes we feel that God is absent. But, the fact is: God is with us “ always, through every moment and phase of our life: in joy and in sorrow, in our questioning and doubting, in our lukewarmness and even in our denial when we sin and turn away. He remains forever faithful to us. His promise is clear: “I am with you always, even to the end of this age.” (Mt 28: 28) Moreover, the goodness of the Lord is made clearer in the promise He makes to each of us, who belong to Him by Baptism: the promise of eternal life, living in union with Him forever. Yes, God intends that we live forever with Him in that reality called heaven.DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
This is precisely why God the Father sent His only-begotten Son to take away the only thing which will keep us from being with God forever: sin and eternal death. As we proclaim after the Consecration: “Dying, you destroyed our death; Rising, you restored our life.”
This promise “ that we are meant to live forever with God “ is spoken even more clearly in today’s Gospel account. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day “.Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” No wonder our Holy Father reminds us in the opening sentence of his encyclical or teaching letter on the Eucharist: “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” (no.1). Yes, all this is truly the goodness of the Lord.
“Taste “the goodness of the Lord.” Where? In a special and unique way, we taste the Lord’s goodness at every celebration of the Eucharist “ the Mass “ the re-presentation of Christ’s Death and Resurrection. Again, as our Holy Father teaches: “The Eucharistic Sacrifice makes present not only the mystery of the Savior’s passion and death, but also the mystery of the resurrection which crowned his sacrifice.” (no.14).
“Taste “ the goodness of the Lord.” How? During the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, signs of food and drink are offered us: what looks like bread and wine. But, these are not bread and wine; rather, through the word of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine become completely and absolutely changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is Christ who is really, truly and uniquely present. We taste the goodness of the Lord when Jesus Himself comes to us in Holy Communion: Body and Blood, soul and divinity.
This is why we come at least weekly to the Eucharist: to allow the Lord to deepen within us His own life, so that at the moment of human death, this divine life within us, God’s grace, can burst forth into fullness and we can, as Jesus promises, live forever. United with Him, we will one day live forever “ body and soul.
“See the goodness of the Lord.” How? God’s promise of eternal life is to be fulfilled in each of us, if we remain faithful to His word and will during our earthly pilgrimage.
“See the goodness of the Lord.” Where? This promise of God “ that we shall live forever, body and soul “ has already been fulfilled in one like us, in Mary, the Mother of God. That is the meaning of the Assumption, which we celebrated yesterday. “Certainly, Mary must have been present at the Eucharistic celebrations of the first generation of Christians, who were devoted to ‘the breaking of the bread’ (Acts 2:42) (no. 53). “For Mary, receiving the Eucharist must have somewhat meant welcoming once more into her womb that heart which had beat in unison with hers and reliving what she had experienced at the foot of the cross” (no.56). Yes, Mary sees now that goodness of the Lord, to which we are journeying: seeing God face to face forever!
United with us in this Eucharistic celebration are permanent deacons ordained for the service of our diocesan church. Dear brother deacons, love Jesus uniquely present in the Eucharist. Find in Him the source of your life. Find in Him the source of your apostolic zeal as you seek to serve God’s people generously in your three-fold ministry of the word, the altar and charity. May each of you find in Jesus present in the Eucharist the reason and the power to lay down your life each day in imitation of Him who came, not to be served, but to serve (cf. Ordination Ritual of the Deacon, no. 21).
Yes, in the Eucharist above all, each of us, who belongs to Christ in His Church, tastes and sees the goodness of the Lord. Amen! Alleluia!