EUCHARISTIC EXPOSITION: O Saving Victim
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine! (3 times)
1. The Eucharist
Hymn: See Us, Lord, About Your Altar
Jesus, the Eucharist is the salvific presence of your dead and resurrection in the midst of your people. You want to be with us always in a specific way in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Therefore, the Eucharist has the central position in the lives of Christians, in our lives, and so it was in the life of our Foundress. Today, at the day of her anniversary of death and at the close preparation for her beatification, let us pray with her to Jesus, present in the Eucharist.
We know very well that Mother Alphonse Marie’s relationship with the Eucharist was strong. When did she begin to acquire the relationship with the Eucharist?
It was already at the age when she attended school. This relationship was intensive and intimate.
She says: A teaching about the Eucharist, which our priest gave us, made a very deep impression on me. Especially the explanation of the prayer: “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!” As often as I passed the church, I walked very slowly to repeat this praise, near the Blessed Sacrament, several times. At this moment, Elizabeth strongly desired to prostrate herself before Jesus present in the Eucharist and worship Him.
Jesus, thank You for every Holy Hour we can spend with You in adoration. Thank You for every time we pass our Chapel or any other church with the opportunity to give You praise, saying: “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!” Jesus, according to the example of our Foundress, we always want and more consciously give You thanks and praise, who is present in the Eucharist.
2. The Church Lives from the Eucharist
Hymn: Gift Of Finest Wheat
Jesus, the Eucharist is the precious gift which the Church received from You. It is the source of every grace. It contains a goodness of salvation of the Church in her fullness, You Yourself, the living Bread.
How did Elizabeth Eppinger understand this source of graces?
For Elizabeth the Eucharist was the memorial of Jesus’ suffering and the source of life. In her, grew a strong desire to receive the Eucharist and so participate in the life and suffering of Christ.
The preparation for Elizabeth‘s First Holy Communion created a new dimension in her relationship to the Eucharist. This relationship was so enormous that she had no greater joy than to receive Jesus as often as possible, but the time she lives in does not know about daily Holy Communion.
When she asked Father Reichard to receive Holy Communion more often, she confessed what she felt in her heart. The Eucharist was essential food in looking at her way of life of following God’s will: “In all I do I try to please our God.”
Jesus, thank You for every Holy Communion we received. Through the intercession of Mother Alphonse Marie grant us the grace to receive You, devoutly and as often as possible, but especially in the hour of our death.
3. Eucharist – Creative Strength of Community
Hymn: At That First Eucharist
Jesus, the Eucharist, in which is visible your work as well as of the Holy Spirit, is also a source of Church unity. This is the Sacrament of unity and love for every family, community, country and the world. The Church is one because the Eucharist is one.
Jesus, in the Eucharist, You give your own life for us who receive You in the form of bread and wine. You said: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him”(cf. Jn. 6:56). St. Augustine said: “The effective power of this food is unity.” Theologian Maurice De La Taille adds: “When you hurt the love, you offend the Eucharist. When you look for love, you will find it in the Eucharist.”
In which way did Elizabeth understand the Eucharist as a source of unity? After the foundation of the Congregation, Elizabeth, Mother Alphonse Marie, who was a zealous devotee of the Eucharist and strengthened by it, built the Congregation into a community of love. She instilled this great love for the Eucharist in her Sisters. She taught them: “After you unite yourself with Jesus in the Eucharist, strive diligently to acquire the love of your neighbors.” In the Original Rule it is written: “There will always be perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the Motherhouse. If the community is not large, or if there is no chapel, each Sister must spend an hour of adoration in the Order’s Chapel.”
Jesus, thank You for the love You show us by constant presence in the Eucharist on the Altar. Give us the grace to be always united with You and with our neighbors in love.
4. Eucharist – Banquet of Thanksgiving
Hymn: Eat The Bread Of Thanksgiving
Joy, praise and thanksgiving for the gift of freedom were essential signs of the Jews’ Passover. Jesus, You expressed gratitude to your Father at the solemn hour of the Last Supper. You thanked your Father for the redemption of those whom the Father entrusted to You.
This Eucharist is celebrated in the Church since the Last Supper down through the centuries. Making present the Last Supper means to celebrate a banquet of joy and giving thanks to You, our Lord and Redeemer, who deliver us from the slavery of sin. The Eucharist is really a life center of the Church. The Eucharist is the heart of the Church. Yes, the Church has the heart of the Eucharist.
Mother Alphonse Marie also found in the Eucharist the true center of her life, her work, and the spiritual energy to fulfill her tasks of the apostolate. She lived with her eyes staring at the cross and from the Eucharistic manifestation of the sacrifices of the cross she drew spiritual strength. With her eyes staring at the Eucharist she built the community of the Sisters and strengthened it in unity.
According to the example of their Foundress, the relationship of the Sisters with the Eucharist did not diminish through the duration of the Congregation. The Congregation is mainly the community of the Sisters who confirm and express their identity by celebrating the Eucharist, living spirituality, spreading the charism and apostolate. They lead all whom they meet to deeper contemplation of the Face of Christ and develop the Eucharistic devotion.
Jesus, thank You for inviting us to the school of the true Eucharistic adoration according to our Foundress, so we can experience, still deep and with great intensity of the Mystery of the Eucharist. Thank You for inviting us to listen to your Blessed Mother, Mary, in “whom more than any other manifests the Eucharistic mystery as a mystery of light. Looking at her, we come to know in transforming strength, which the Eucharist possesses,” and which is the transforming and renewing strength of You, the ONE, who came to make all things new.
Let us take advantage of the moments and experience the meeting with Jesus, who encourages us to deepen our unity with Him. It is certain that all of us desire for it in our hearts. This satisfaction we can experience daily through the Eucharist.
BENEDICTION: Bowing Low
RECESSIONAL: Holy, Holy, Holy