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What Can You Do with Christ in You?

The Easter season is a time of great joy and fruitfulness. As we celebrate the resurrection, I am drawn to one of its greatest fruits, the Eucharist. Jesus gave us the gift of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, with the command, “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:19).

We are approaching the mission year of the National Eucharistic Revival in July. During Easter, I am reflecting on the profound effects that worthy reception of the Eucharist produces in us. These effects bring us into greater communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and empower us to communicate the love of God to others. This is why we have chosen to dedicate the theme of this year’s Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the heartbeat of our Church and compels us to live completely for the Father’s glory.

At each Mass, we gather as a community with Christ as our Head to give praise, adoration and worship of the Father, in the re-presentation of Jesus’ one, eternal sacrifice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this beautifully: “The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood” (CCC 1382).

Vatican II reminds us in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Christ…always associates the Church with Himself in this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is His beloved Bride who calls to her Lord, and through Him offers worship to the Eternal Father… in the Liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 7).

It continues in number 8, “In the earthly Liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that Heavenly Liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a Minister of the Holies and of the true Tabernacle; we sing a hymn to the Lord’s glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our Life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory.”

This is accomplished by the action of Jesus in the liturgy, but also in the mystery of communion. We are called to offer our lives to the Father, as Jesus offers his life to the Father, and then we receive our Lord in Communion. The Catechism teaches, “But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us” (1382). Every time we worthily receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we grow and are transformed.

The fruits of receiving the Eucharist are many. First and foremost, I am referring to the gift of charity which the Holy Spirit increases in us when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We must desire to love the Father as Jesus loves the Father and to love our neighbor and enemy as Jesus loves. He commands us clearly, “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13: 34-35; Jn 15:12). Charity enables us to be in friendship with God and love him above all things. That love, in turn, directs us to love our neighbors and moves us to make our lives a gift to others as Jesus did. The Catechism also lists many other fruits of Holy Communion, such as strength and nourishment for our spiritual lives, detachment from sin, preservation from sin, and commitment to the poor (CCC 1391-1397).

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It is with these fruits in mind that we have decided to make the theme of this year’s annual appeal Eucharist-focused, and we pose the question, “What can you do with Christ in you?” Every gift that we offer to God, even a financial donation, should be offered out of gratitude and within the context of a personal relationship with the Lord. Generosity can be an expression of the gift of charity. When we strive to love God above all things, we give out of love for him, and in so giving, we grow in greater of love of him, our neighbor and the poor.

Jesus promises in the Gospel of John, “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12). This promise refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit which Jesus sent upon the Apostles and others on the day of Pentecost. As disciples of Jesus, this promise applies also to us. By your baptism and confirmation, the Holy Spirit dwells in YOU and makes YOU able to do potentially greater works than Jesus! In receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, you carry Christ into the world. What will be the output? What can you do with Christ in you?

The theme of the appeal is meant to increase our hope in God’s action in and through us, to help us grow in the virtue of charity. Many fruits are born when we receive the Eucharist, and a financial gift to the appeal is a beautiful way to contribute to the living out of charity. When you give to the appeal, you are supporting more than 40 archdiocesan ministries which advance our mission that in Jesus Christ, all might be rescued and have abundant life, for the glory of the Father.

Our ministries are a commitment to the poor among us in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, protecting the vulnerable, and being present to the lonely. They also help the archdiocese offer conferences on healing, evangelization trainings, scholarships for Catholic education, conferences for youth, and initiatives to strengthen and support our pastors and parishes.

I am truly excited about the work we are engaged in, and I hope that you will consider contributing to the amazing work Jesus is bringing about in our archdiocese. I am grateful for your help and remind you to increase your hope in what Christ will do in you! May our love for the Eucharist, our Lord, and for our neighbor increase each day!

To donate, please visit https://archden.org/givenow.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila
The Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila is the eighth bishop of Denver and its fifth archbishop. His episcopal motto is, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).

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