Apostolic Letter: Mane nobiscum Domine
The Year of The Eucharist
Pope John Paul II has dedicated October 2004 - October 2005 the Year of the Eucharist in his Apostolic Letter entitled: "Mane nobiscum Domine".
"The image of the disciples on the way to Emmaus can serve as a fitting guide for a Year when the Church will be particularly engaged in living out the mystery of the Holy Eucharist". The Holy Eucharist is the center of the Church's life. By this mystery we are able to abide in Christ and us in Him. "Abide in me, and I in you" (Jn 15:4).
The disciples on the way to Emmaus petitioned Jesus to stay "with" them. But by the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ perfected a way to stay "in" them. "Receiving the Eucharist means entering into a profound communion with Jesus." The relationship of deep and mutual "abiding" 'enables us to have a certain foretaste of heaven on earth.' This foretaste is realized completely in heaven.
Two important elements of the Eucharist are significance as "a meal" and as "sacrificial meaning". As a meal, we see the initiation of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday. "Take, eat...Then he took a cup and...gave it to them saying: Drink from it, all of you" (Mt. 26:26, 27). By such an invitation, the apostolic letter encourages us to appreciate the fellowship God desires with us and wants us to build up with one another through the Eucharist. As "sacrificial meaning", we know the Eucharist contains the marks of Christ's passion which means every mass is a memorial. As the Eucharist reminds us of the past, it also focused our attention on the future “when Christ will come again at the end of history.”
Especially this year, we are encouraged to Eucharistic Adoration outside Mass. The Holy Father asks for "a particular commitment for individual parish and religious communities". By our faith and love we make amends for "acts of carelessness and neglect, and even insults which our Saviour must endure in many parts of the world."
Pope John II asks the faithful to consider the Gospel of John which "contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates 'the washing of feet' (Jn 13:1-20). The act of washing the feet of His disciples explains an essential aspect of the Eucharist, one of service. "Can we not make this Year of the Eucharist as occasion for diocesan and parish communities to commit themselves in a particular way to responding with fraternal solicitude to one of the many forms of poverty present in our world? I think for example of the tragedy of hunger which plagues hundreds of millions of human beings, the diseases which afflict developing countries, the loneliness of the elderly, the hardships faced by the unemployed, the struggles of immigrants...by our mutual love and, in particular, by our concern for those in need we will be recognized as true followers of Christ (cf. Jn13:35; Mt. 25:31-46).
In a final exhortation, we are asked to "rediscover the gift of the Eucharist as light and strength" for our daily lives, in our own personal situations, families and work place.
"In this Year of grace, sustained by Mary, may the Church discover new enthusiasm for her mission and come to acknowledge ever more fully that the Eucharist is the source and summit of her entire life."
Updated on May 7, 2016
Copyright © 1999 - 2017 Rosary Works. All rights reserved.