Saint Peter Julian Eymard
“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 34:9)
One day a teacher asked her students, “what is a saint?” One young boy responded, “a saint is one whom the light shines through.” His reference point was the stained-glass windows in the Church. This seems like a very apt description of the saint we celebrate today—Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
Throughout his life, the light of Christ in the Eucharist shone through who he was and all he did. The gospel reading for the Mass for Saint Eymard today focuses on the vine and the branches and the need for pruning. How well Saint Peter Julian lived life attached to the vine of divine love. And how often he was pruned through illness, through being led to leave a congregation he loved to respond to the call to begin a eucharistic order of men, women, and laypeople. His deep love for the Eucharist as well as a deep life of prayer enabled him to give the gift of himself to his Lord, to others, to the Church, and to the world.
Once having tasted the goodness of the Lord, he worked tirelessly to afford others that same opportunity. Living at a time, not unlike our own, where civil unrest, declining religious practice, and lack of faith were commonplace, his efforts to restore eucharistic spirituality helped pave the way for the renewal of the Eucharist we experience today.
His advice to Mrs. Gourde in 1859 holds true today. “Belong entirely to God through love, entirely to your neighbor through a gracious charity, entirely to the divine Eucharist by the offering and sacrifice of your whole self. Bear with yourself in the patience of our Lord.”
His feast invites us to ask: “is the light shining through me? What needs pruning to enable me to live a eucharistic spirituality?”
Let Us Pray:
O God, who adorned Saint Peter Julian Eymard with a wonderful love for the sacred mysteries of the body and blood of your Son, graciously grant that we, too, may be worthy to receive the delights he drew from this divine banquet. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Mass for Saint Peter Julian Eymard)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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