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“Obey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, but [which causes] that we should live forever in Jesus Christ.”

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

The Eucharist is an antidote to death. Not bodily death, but eternal death. The Eucharist does not sustain us in a mere physical existence. It’s not a fountain of youth. However, we read in Sacred Scripture: “This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:58). We do know that the Eucharist is the Bread of Life and it nourishes us spiritually. For St. Thomas Aquinas, just as the body needs food and medicine, so does the soul. The Angelic Doctor calls the Eucharist “spiritual food and spiritual medicine” which nourishes and heals. Thus, Pope Francis rightly says, “The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

Heavenly Father, heal me of every sin and failure which turns my heart from you. Grant me the grace of conversion to embrace your mercy and to confess my sins. May I run to the Eucharist, the medicine of immortality for strength and healing. Amen

Fr. Patrick Mary Briscoe, OP, Eucharist
© 2022 by Our Sunday Visitor (with permission)