What is the deeper meaning and value of the regular reception of the Eucharist for Christian life? In  offering his followers his body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine, Jesus is challenging them to a new way of life  It should be a life lived in obedience to God the Father and in service to one’s fellow human beings.

If Jesus has given his all for the sake of those whom he reveres and loves, then a Christian should live the same way: in obedience to the will of God the Father and dedicated service to other human beings, beginning with family and friends but ultimately extending to the entire human community. “Do this and you will live” (Luke 10/28). Resurrection and eternal life after the death of the body will automatically follow if you decide to imitate Jesus as “the Way, the Truth and the Life”  (John 14:6).

—Fr. Joseph Bracken, S.J. is an emeritus professor of theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH