Today’s readings focus on two virtues: wisdom and gratitude. Each of these virtues is a necessary component of living a full life in society. Wisdom helps us make right judgments, focus on what is important, and live by a set of values with a positive goal in view.
Gratitude is the virtue that acknowledges that we do not live only for ourselves. We live in a family, a society, a church, and a world in which we are all co-dependent. We need each other, and we need God.
These two virtues guided Father Eymard’s life journey. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. It is the action in which the people of God give praise and thanks to the Father for the life, death, and resurrection of his Son. Early in life, the young Eymard had an intense devotion to the Eucharist, so much so that his parish priest allowed him to receive his First Communion at an unusually young age.
His goal, which was thwarted several times, was to become a priest, bringing him ever more deeply into the Mystery of this Sacrament. His sense of wisdom in listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit led him from the diocesan priesthood into the Marists. Then, he was inspired to found a religious institute dedicated to the Eucharist. Grateful to the Lord for this inspiration, he overcame many obstacles and reached his goal with much gratitude to God.
He left a legacy to those of us who share in his love of the Eucharist, to seek in prayer the wisdom to guide our lives in light of Jesus, who gave himself up to death for us and commanded us to do the same. He calls us to pour ourselves out in loving service to all in need.
Let Us Pray:
Loving Creator, you raised up your servant Peter Julian Eymard to be an apostle of the Mystery of the Eucharist in all its facets. Please fill us with grace so we might imitate his example of prayer and service. Inspire us to gladly give ourselves in service to all those around us in loving acts of kindness and justice. Amen.