Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 25 July |
Saint of the Day: St. James the Great
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

The heart of the Eucharistic mystery is this one word

fragment marmurowego ołtarza przedstawiający Najświętszy Sakrament czczony przez dwóch aniołów

Francisco Javier Diaz | Shutterstock


Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP - published on 11/26/23

The words Jesus Christ speaks to Zacchaeus proclaim the heart of the Eucharist mystery

The United States is in the midst of a Eucharistic Revival whose mission is “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” To assist in realizing the vision of the Eucharistic Revival, which is “to inspire a movement of Catholics across the United States who are healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist,” Aleteia is pleased to present a year-long series of weekly short reflections on the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. 


Ever since Jesus Christ uttered the soul-searing words “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you” (Mt 11:28), we have been magnetically drawn to this exceptional man of compassion. We simply want him to be with us.

The scribe in the Gospel, overwhelmed at the One who bears our infirmities and endures our sufferings, exclaims, “Teacher, wherever you go I will come after you” (Mk 8:17, 19). The once-blind Bartimaeus uses his new gift of sight “to follow Jesus up the road” (Mk 10:52). The Gerasene demoniac, released from a legion of evil, “presses to accompany Jesus” (Mk 5:18). The people of the Samaritan town, overwhelmed by the Gospel witness of the woman at the well, “begged Jesus to stay with them awhile” (Jn 4:40). As do, of course, the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “They pressed him: ‘Stay with us’” (Lk 24:29). Jesus knows how much we need him to stay with us.

The healing of the sick, the comforting of the grieving, the calming of ferocious storms, the raising of the dead, the multiplying of food for those hunger-stung, the forgiving of paralyzing sin, the proclaiming of unheard-of Good News — all of it points to a breathtaking Love that we have never known before … but for which we have always waited. A Love in the flesh. We do not want this love to leave us.

The words Jesus Christ speaks to Zacchaeus proclaim the heart of the Eucharistic mystery: “I mean to stay with you” (Lk 19:5). The tense of the verb is indefinite; his stay is open-ended. Jesus is never leaving. The Eucharist is the way he stays.

The question Andrew asks at the outset of Jesus’ ministry consumes us at every level: “Rabbi, where do you stay?” (Jn 1:38). As we ask, Jesus gestures to the tabernacle, but his words are the same: “Come and see” (Jn 1:39). And then, to assure us, he adds, “I am with you always until the end of the world” (Mt 28:20). Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Without end.


Installments in this series can be found each week here: Real Presence

Eucharistic RevivalReal Presence
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.