Today is also the Optional Memoria of St Peter Julian Eymard, the nineteenth century Marist Father known as the ‘Apostle of the Eucharist’.

He said: ‘During the days of His mortal life, Jesus was present in one place only.   He dwelt in one house only. Few persons were privileged enough to enjoy His presence and listen to His words. But today in the Blessed Sacrament, He is, we may say, everywhere at one and the same time. In a way, His humanity shares the prerogative of His divine immensity which fills all things. Jesus is present in His entirety in an infinite number of temples and in each one of them. Since all the Christians scattered throughout the world are members of His Mystical Body, it does seem necessary that He, as the soul of it, should be everywhere present throughout the whole body, giving it life, and sustaining it in each one of His members’. And: ‘Have a great love for Jesus in His divine Sacrament of Love; that is the divine oasis of the desert. It is the heavenly manna of the traveller. It is the Holy Ark. It is the Life and Paradise of love on earth’.

It is so easy to take the Mass for granted, given that today it is so much more accessible in terms of cathedrals and churches which offer frequent Mass. It was not always so.

It is important that we prepare carefully to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, and return to Him throughout the day. St Thérèse prayed in her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love: ‘I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim’.

May we treasure the Holy Eucharist as our most precious treasure, and may these two Saints, Peter Julian and Thérèse, pray for us specially this day.