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“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His love endures forever.”  Jesus took bread and gave thanks…. After the leper was cured he turned back to Jesus and gave Him thanks.     To the Thessalonians Paul exhorts to give thanks to God at all times and in all places…    The mystical theologian Meister Eckhart said that if the only prayer we ever said were thanksgiving then that would be enough.

The most sublime prayer under heaven that actually unites us with heaven is the Mass and another name for Mass is “Eucharist” which actually means “Thanksgiving”. It should be a constant effort to grow in living out a greater appreciation and “Thanksgiving” for the Eucharist.   Let us enumerate ways that we can foster an “attitude of gratitude” for the greatest gift of Jesus to us—the Most Holy Eucharist.    “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good his mercy endures forever.”
1.    EXPRESS TO THE LORD GRATITUDE FOR THE EUCHARIST.   How easy to take things for granted, gifts for granted, people for granted, children for granted and even spouses for granted. At the same time, worse yet due to the dignity and greatness of the Person, we can easily take the Lord for granted in “His Real Presence” in the Eucharist.  Lord you promised to be with us always even until the end of time.  In the Mass, the Eucharist, and is the Blessed Sacrament you are with us truly. For the gift of the  Eucharist Lord, we render you praise and thanks!

2.     SCRIPTURAL KNOLWEDGE OF THE EUCHARIST.  Read slowly and prayerfully Jn. 6:22-71.   In the 6th Chapter of the Gospel of John Jesus works two extraordinary miracles--- the multiplication of the loaves and then the walking on water.  Then, while preaching in the synagogue of Caparnaum, Jesus delivers one of the greatest discourses in the history of the world:  “The Bread of Life discourse”.   The essence of His message was a preparation for what would happen at the Last Supper-- the institution of the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist.  Jesus delivers the “Bread of Life” discourse.   The heart of the message is the following:  “I am the bread of life; whoever eats my body and drinks my blood will have everlasting life.”   The meaning!  At Mass, the Bread of Life becomes present at the moment of consecration--- “Take and eat this is my Body; take and drink this is my blood. Do this in memory of me.”   Holy Communion shortly follows when Jesus unites Himself to the hungering soul in the most profound and intimate way.    If done frequently, with growing faith and fervor, the promise of Jesus is eternal life in heaven.  Let us express our gratitude by meditating prayerfully the “Bread of Life” discourse and yearning for the Bread of Life.”
3.    SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.   Even outside the context of Holy Mass we should be longing for union with the Eucharistic Lord. This can be done as frequently as the heart desires by the making of “Spiritual Communions”. How? Simple!  Pray as such: “Lord Jesus I cannot receive you now in the Eucharist, but come now spiritually.”  Then praise and thank the Lord Jesus in the depths of your soul.  Frequent Spiritual Communions are efficacious means to keep the fire of the Lord burning within the hearths of our interior lives!

4.    VISITING THE EUCHARISTIC LORD.   Jesus is the prisoner of love truly present behind the door of the Tabernacle.  He said, “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” At times and in many places Jesus is alone, lonely, abandoned and cold in the Tabernacle. At times we all suffer from loneliness and welcome a cheerful visitor.  With Jesus it is the same!  Why not make it a habit of visiting Him frequently; the Sacred Heart of Jesus will rejoice.
5.     GENUFLECTION.  Cordial greetings differ according to culture. A hug, an embrace, a kiss or a warm handshake express ways of greeting friends.   With Jesus the greeting is different. The reason?  He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords; He is God.  GENUFLECTION.   How done? The right knee all the way down to the ground every time you walk in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  “O Sacrament most Holy O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.”

6.    HOLY HOUR IN FRONT OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.   “The Hour of Power”.  (Fulton Sheen).  Archbishop Fulton Sheen attributes his success as preacher and radio-tele- evangelist to one thing--- His union with Jesus Christ in the daily Holy Hour.   Sheen, already “Venerable” made no bones about it.  In his many retreats that he gave to priests and Bishops at the end of his life, he insisted on one proposal from the retreat: the urgency of the daily Holy Hour.   This superb communicator commented that in his 50 years as priest and then as Bishop, he never missed even for one day his daily Holy Hour--- “The hour of power.”   If you want to have more spiritual power in your life, visit Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament and make your own “Hour of Power!”
7.    HOLY MASS.  Of course by far the greatest way that we can express our love and gratitude for Jesus present in the Eucharist is to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as frequently as possible. If possible, we should aim at daily Mass.  As the Sun shines down at midday radiating light and heat, may Jesus be the sun that rises in our hearts every day through attendance at Mass and an ever more by fervent reception of the Bread of Life.

8.     THANKSGIVING AFTER RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION.  At a thanksgiving meal it is almost unthinkable to imagine the guests “eating and running!” Unfortunately, it is all too common to eat the “Bread of Life” and then run or even rush as if there were a fire.  The most precious moments in our week or day or in our life should be the moments right after having received Jesus in Holy Communion.   That is the time to tell Him thanks, that we love Him, need Him, want Him to stay with us at all times in time and for all eternity. How many precious graces are lost because we are in a hurry when we should rest with Him.  “Come to me all of you…. Rest in me… I am meek and humble of heart… (Mt. 11:28-230)
9.    THANKSGIVING THROUGH SHARING. Now more than ever is it a time to be a missionary. Pope Benedict XVI insists in many of his teachings that Mass must transform us into missionaries. This means we should feel the imperative urging of the Holy Spirit to bring others to the Eucharistic Lord Jesus present in Holy Mass and the Eucharistic. Like St. Andrew who felt the call to bring others to Jesus--- starting with his brother St. Peter--- we should feel the same urgency!

10. OUR LADY AND THE EUCHARIST.   In the Annunciation Mary said ‘Yes” the Archangel Gabriel and the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. In a certain sense we can call this Mary’s Communion because Holy Communion is receiving Jesus into our hearts. Then spontaneously Mary, moved by the spirit of charity, went in haste to bring Jesus to others--- specifically her cousin St. Elizabeth-- about to give birth to St. John the Baptist. Therefore, Mary is our model in life. Mary is the “Contemplative in action”.  Her love and gratitude towards God compelled her to bring Jesus to others. Let us follow Mary’s example and daily cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”.   “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His love endures forever.” May our faith, love, and gratitude for the Eucharist grow day by day until we die and contemplate Jesus face to face in the Kingdom of Heaven!