‘….that we may become one body, one spirit in Christ.’

In one of his Apostolic Letters on the Eucharist, Saint John Paul II declares ‘We are constantly tempted to reduce the Eucharist to our own dimensions, while in reality it is we who must open ourselves up to the dimensions of the Mystery.’ In the Eucharist, in which the Risen Christ is really, truly and substantially present, Jesus is not so much transformed into us as we are transformed into Him. His is the inestimably greater reality. No wonder our sins are washed away in the Blood poured out ‘so that sins may be forgiven’. In this holy communion our lives participate in Christ’s, in His Passion, death and Resurrection, and as we begin, both consciously and unconsciously, to share His life, we share also of course His suffering, His joy, His love, His mission and His glory. Indeed, today’s traditional Procession of the Blessed Sacrament in our parish and in central London (as detailed inside) is intended as a visible participation of our joining with Christ in His own pilgrimage through history as He calls to each person to join with Him in God’s plan for the salvation of the world. In answering His call we become, in Pope Francis’ phrase, missionary disciples, as we live the joy of the Gospel nourished by His Divine Life within us. This is to ’open ourselves up to the dimensions of the Mystery’ as St John Paul says, ’that we may become one body, one spirit in Christ’ as the Eucharistic Prayer adds. There are few better exemplars of living the dimensions of this mystery than missionary sisters, brothers and fathers who literally go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News. We are greatly blessed therefore to listen to Columban missionary Father Tom Ryan in this weekend’s appeal.                                                         Fr Michael