Witness to what you have eaten

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

Most Rev. Dr. Francis Okobo would say "ununu na-erighi ihe ibe ya riri, agaghi afu ihe ibe ya na-afu". By that the Bishop Emeritus, not only points out the necessity of one fed with others, but also of one feeding from the same source.

The emphases are on feeding with others and feeding from the same source. At the Holy Eucharist we feed with others as we file one after the other to receive Christ. At the Holy Eucharist we feed from the same source who is Christ the Lord who has said "take, eat, for this is my Body" (Mark 14: 22).

Last week, from our Catechism, we treated what the Holy Eucharist does in us when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. That Blessed Food commands a lot of actions in us. When Judas received Jesus, that Bread of Life, Satan entered him, and he plotted to betray his Master.

But the Master Himself envisaging good actions from us, commands us to "Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations ." (Matthew 28: 18-20; Mark 16: 15). That is principally the mission of witnessing to what we have eaten. Jesus even says that our lights must shine before men (Matthew 5:16).

In saying that, he illustrates to us the need to be witnesses. He implores us to be His witnesses - having been fed by the Bread of Life, and having received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 8).

Witnessing is an old human, juridical practice whereby a person, place or thing stands in evidence to a premise, proposition, event, cause, belief or a person. In a religious parlance, witnessing is the proclamation of the Word of God, the things of God, or the doings of God in one's life or in the lives of others.

Higher level of witnessing in religious understanding is living one's life in accordance to that which one believes. It also involves sacrificing one's life in accordance to the demands of which one professes.

Every day we receive the Holy Eucharist we are enjoined to witness to Him whom we receive. This witnessing is about the lifestyle we live. It is about how we carry and comport ourselves as Christians and particularly as Catholics. It is about how we interact with others. It is about how we do our work.

St Jerome says our lives should be the Bible that someone else reads. But is that what we see? On Sundays our Churches are packed full of Christians who have come to worship their God, and receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.

But on Mondays through Saturdays our workplaces, marketplaces, homes, and other places are bereft of Christians. It really turns to be like the proverbial "water, water everywhere but none to drink". It is because Christians have declined from witnessing to what they receive every Sunday, and in deed, every day. The Holy Eucharist invites us to witness to what we have received.

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