Friday, July 18, 2008

Keeping Healthy

Most of us are always conscious of our health. We all don’t want to get sick. Whenever we are not feeling well, we have headache, fever, or more serious illnesses, we take medicines that will help us feel better. It is good that we have access to medicines that help us get rid of the harmful elements in our bodies that make us sick. But, what about our Christian well-being? Everyday we encounter temptations in this world that leads us to sin. What medicine can help our bodies get rid of the poisons of sins? Gregory of Nyssa, one of the early Christian teachers, described the Holy Eucharist as a medicine. The Holy Eucharist, or what we commonly call the Communion, is a medicine that counters the poisonous effect of sin, which is death. He said that the Holy Eucharist is an antidote that heals us from the poisonous effect of sin. Everyday, in our work, in our school, in our offices we are tempted to commit sin. Because of these temptations, our thoughts, words and deeds becomes an act of disobedience to God – we sin. Sin poisons our Christian well-being. We need an antidote against this poison. The antidote must be something that has power to overcome sin and death. That antidote is, of course, the body and blood of Christ. This becomes the antidote because the body and blood of Christ overcame death when he resurrected from the dead after three days. That body and blood of Christ is present in the elements of the Holy Eucharist. Remember, Jesus said, “Eat this bread for this is my body… drink from this cup for this is my blood…” Thus, partaking in the Holy Eucharist allows our body to assimilate the “healing effect” of the body and blood of Christ. Through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we receive the outward sign of the inward grace from God. When we drink from the cup and partake of the bread, we are actually receiving the grace from God and the power that gets rid of the poisons of sin in our bodies. Isn’t that great? We actually have a medicine that keeps our Christian well-being healthy. And wouldn’t our bodies be more healthier when we get rid of the poisons of sins frequently? Wouldn’t we be healthier if we receive God’s grace through the Holy Eucharist more often? After all, Jesus invited us to do it frequently when he told us to drink from the cup of the new covenant, “Do this as often as you drink, in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:25)”