The Mystery of the Institution of the Eucharist

This is the last of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.

One of the funny ironies surrounding my Evangelical worries about “Mary worship” is the discovery that my fears were so radically misplaced. Since becoming Catholic in 1987 I have never once met a living soul who worships Mary or thinks her to be a goddess. Meanwhile, one of the first things to present itself to me when I seriously began to look at the faith was the fact that Catholics do, in fact, adore the Eucharist. They literally worship and adore the body and blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. They accord the Eucharist all the honor due to Almighty God himself, prostrate themselves before it, and offer prayers of praise, worship, and petition to it. The Eucharist is, in very truth, God himself, according to Catholics. It’s really rather pointless for Evangelicals to focus our energy on the phantom Mary worshipper when droves of real live Catholics are falling down in adoration before the body and blood.

At the same time, it’s important to realize what this does mean. If the Eucharist is, as the Church teaches, the “source and summit” of our faith (in other words, God) then it is the Eucharist to which Mary is referred and to which she refers us, for the Eucharist is Jesus. Mary is, very literally, the Mother of the Eucharist. It’s from her that Jesus took the flesh that was transfigured, crucified, raised from the grave, glorified—and now offered to us as food and drink.


2 Responses

  1. One of the funny ironies surrounding my Evangelical worries about “Mary worship” is the discovery that my fears were so radically misplaced.

    Some years ago, a workmate – nice non-practising Methodist young man – asked why I “went to church” so often during my lunch hour. I talked a bit about going to Mass:

    Friend: “Well, what do you guys do there?”
    Me: “Well, come along and find out!”

    He came, sat quietly and watched. We’re walking back to the University (where I work):

    Friend: “That guy up there talked about Jesus a lot.”
    Me (puzzled voice): “Yeah… well, of course.”
    Friend: “But I thought you guys worshipped Mary!”

  2. Another great reflection as well as the comment from Mr. Jensen – sad that Mary is supposed to point the way to Christ but often is perceived as a barrier to those who do not know much about Catholicism.

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