Liturgy Corner - September 6, 2020 The Tabernacle: Reservation of the Holy Eucharist

Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist is a treasure the Church has come to cherish and revere over the centuries.  The reservation of the Eucharist was originally intended for the Communion of the sick, for those unable to attend the Sunday celebration, and as Viaticum for the dying.  As the appreciation of Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament became more developed, Christians desired through prayer to show reverence for Jesus’ continuing presence in their midst.  For Catholics, Eucharistic adoration has “an authentic and solid basis, especially because faith in the Real Presence of the Lord leads naturally to external, public expression of that faith.”  The Second Vatican Council led the Church to a fuller understanding of the relationship between the presence of the Lord in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist and in the reserved Sacrament, and of the Christian’s responsibility to feed the hungry and to care for the poor.  As the baptized grow to understand their active participation in the Holy Eucharist, they are drawn to spend more time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle, and be impelled to live out their relationship in active charity.  In reverent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, the faithful give praise and thanksgiving to Jesus for the priceless gift of redemption and for the spiritual food that sustains them in their daily lives.  Here they learn to appreciate their right and responsibility to join the offering of their own lives to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus during Holy Mass and are led to a greater recognition of Jesus in themselves and in others. (Built of Living Stones, pp 70 & 71)   Jesus is present in the Tabernacle, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  To show his presence, a Sanctuary Candle burns next to the Tabernacle, and gives those entering any worship space awareness and knowledge of his presence.  It is customary to genuflect to the Tabernacle—not the beautiful receptacle itself, but to Jesus reserved there.   Gay Snell