The Spirit directed Christ throughout his life. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was a "beloved Son" in whom the Father was "well pleased." At Jesus' baptism, the Spirit anointed him, "ordained" him for his redemptive mission. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, and release to prisoners." Christ, "full of the Spirit," reversed the work of Satan by his miracles–casting out devils, healing the sick, raising the dead. Moreover, Christ, "through the eternal Spirit, offered himself unblemished to God" (Heb 9). Finally, the Spirit, "the holy breath of God," brought Jesus through death, alive and indeed glorified.

We approach Jesus in the Eucharist as the bringer of the Holy Spirit. We want the Spirit who abided and worked in Jesus to abide and work in us. Salvation is in the possession of the Holy Spirit.

In a sense, Scripture is the story of the power of the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit did in Jesus in human history. All that is in the church is for the sending of the Holy Spirit. We have no doubt that the power of the Spirit that changes bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ can transform us into the body of Christ, "beloved sons and daughters" in whom God is well pleased.

In the Eucharist the divine Christ descends upon the altar and into our hearts. Jesus, by his gift of the Spirit in the Eucharist, raises us up to be children of God. In Communion Christ enters our heart to transform us, to make us "beautiful."

In truth, "the Eucharist is the sacrament of sacraments, the noblest of them all ... for it contains the whole mystery of salvation." (Thomas Aquinas).

Emmanuel Magazine
Fr. Thomas McKeon, SSS.