Christ is present in his church and through it proclaims the Gospel, worships the Father, shows concern for the world and its problems. Caring for our neighbor and working for peace and justice follow upon the celebration of the Eucharist. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical "On Social Concern," brings this out: "The kingdom of God ( salvation) becomes present above all in the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the Lord's sacrifice. All who take part in the Eucharist are called to discover through this sacrament the profound meaning of our actions in the world in favor of development and peace and to receive from it strength to commit ourselves ever more generously, following the example of Christ who in this sacrament lays down his life for his friends."

To love the eucharistic Christ means to love our neighbor. There is only one Christ, present in the Eucharist and in his church. John Chrysostom admonished his congregations: "Do not honor Christ here in church clothed in silk vestments and then pass him by untouched and frozen outside... God does not need golden chalices but golden hearts." The same Christ is in the Eucharist as in the poor and needy.

Emmanuel Magazine, April 1994
Fr. Thomas McKeon, SSS.