Praying the Gospel through the Rosary: Institution of the Eucharist

Submitted by Deacon Jim Krupka

Pope St. John Paul II said that each of the Luminous Mysteries is “a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus.” The Institution of the Holy Eucharist could be the ultimate mystery. In the Fifth Luminous Mystery, Jesus “took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body”‘ (Mt 26:26). 

The Eucharist is God’s answer to our spiritual hunger. It is food that feeds the soul. The Eucharist is both material food and spiritual food. St. Thomas Aquinas said, “Material food first changes into the one who eats it, and then, as a consequence, restores to him lost strength and increases his vitality. Spiritual food, on the other hand, changes the person who eats it into itself. Thus, the effect proper to this Sacrament is the conversion of a man into Christ so that he may no longer live, but Christ lives in him; consequently, it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual strength he had lost by his sins and defects, and of increasing the strength of his virtues.”

As we meditate on this mystery, we will be at an intimate place in our faith journey. The Institution of the Eucharist is the last Luminous mediation. We ponder the culmination of Jesus’ coming and passion, bringing us His continued presence in the Eucharist. The Eucharist will remain with the Church until the end of time. 

As we meditate on the words of the Gospel, Jesus proclaims, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51). It is a truth and mystery of our faith that the Host that we eat and the Precious Blood that we drink are the Body and Blood of Christ. Not everyone can see this with the same clarity. It remains a mystery to many who struggle to see the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They cannot fully understand how the transformed bread they see is truly the Body of Christ. It is a mystery! If you struggle, you are not alone. Keep meditating on the Gospel and praying for the gift of faith. You will move from mystery to faith and into light.