A GIFT SURPASSING ALL GIFTS
St. Paul draws attention to the time Jesus chose to make us this gift of the most Holy Sacrament; a gift which surpasses all the other gifts which an Almighty God could make, as St. Clement says: “A gift surpassing all fulness.” And St. Augustine says: “Although omnipotent He could give no more.” The Apostle remarks that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread and, giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat; this is my body which shall be delivered for you. (1 Cor. xi. 23, 24). In that same night, then, that men were thinking of preparing torments and death for Jesus, our beloved Redeemer thought of leaving them Himself in the Blessed Sacrament; giving us thereby to understand that His love was so great, that, instead of being cooled by so many injuries, it was then more than ever yearning towards us. O most loving Saviour, how couldest Thou have so great love for men as to choose to remain with them on this earth to be their Food, after their having driven Thee away from it with so much ingratitude!
Let us also consider the immense desire Jesus has during all His life for the arrival of that night, in which He had determined to leave us this great pledge of His love. For at the moment of His instituting this most sweet Sacrament, He said, With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you. (Luke xxii. 15), words which reveal to us the ardent desire that He had to unite Himself with us in Communion through the love which He bore us: “This is the voice of most burning charity,” says St. Laurence Justinian. And Jesus still retains at the present time the same desire towards all the souls that love Him.
O Lover, too full of love, there are no greater proofs left for Thee to give me in order to persuade me that Thou dost love me. I bless Thy goodness for it. O my Jesus, I beseech Thee, draw me entirely to Thyself. Make me love Thee henceforth with all the affections and tenderness of which I am capable. Let it suffice to others to love Thee with a love only appreciative and predominant, for I know that Thou wilt be satisfied with it; but I shall not be satisfied until I see that I love Thee also with all the tenderness of my heart, more than friend, more than brother, more than father, and more than spouse. And where, indeed, shall I find a friend, a brother, a father, a spouse, who will love me as much as Thou hast loved me, my Creator, my Redeemer, and my God, Who for the love of me hast spent Thy Blood and Thy life; and, not content with that, dost give Thyself entirely to me in this Sacrament of love. I love Thee, then, O my Jesus, with all the affections of my soul: I love Thee more than myself. Oh, help me to love Thee; I ask nothing more of Thee.