Eucharistic Encounter Encore: “August” in the Code of Canon Law

What is the greatest sacrament of them all?  

Hi everyone. This is Father Rocky in the Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier in Green Bay, WI for another lesson on the Holy Eucharist.  

What is the greatest sacrament of them all? It’s the Holy Eucharist, the Most Blessed Sacrament, because it contains God Himself, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; His Body, His Blood, His soul, His divinity, really and truly and substantially present.

Now, there’s a word we use in English not too frequently, which describes being the greatest of them all. And the word is the 8th month of the year, “August.” It comes from the Latin name of the Emperor when Jesus was born, Augustus Caesar.

So bear with me, I want to read 2 paragraphs from the Universal Law of the Church is called the Canon Law about the Holy Eucharist. Paragraph 897 says: 

The Most August Sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered, and received, and by which the Church continually lives and grows. Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated through the ages, is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life, which signifies and affects the unity of the people of God and brings about the building up of the Body of Christ. Indeed, the other Sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage and Anointing of the Sick, Confession, and all the ecclesiastical works of the Apostles are closely connected with the Most Holy Eucharist in order to it.” 

To me, the key line in that paragraph is about the Holy Eucharist. It’s by which the Church continually lives and grows. Go to those parishes where they take very good care of the Holy Eucharist and they’ll be jam-packed. The next paragraph, Cannon 898, tells us what to do: it says that the Christian faithful, that you and I, are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor, taking an active part in the celebration of the most August sacrifice.  

There’s that word again, receiving the Sacrament most devoutly and frequently, worshiping it with the highest adoration and explaining the doctrine about this Sacrament. Pastors of souls are to teach the faithful diligently in this regard. So what does it mean to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor?

Did you know in Washington, DC, there’s a museum called the Smithsonian Institute that holds the largest diamond in the world? It’s called the Hope Diamond, and millions of people visit that diamond every year. But at the end of the day, the diamond is only a piece of carbon. Jesus Christ is in the Holy Eucharist, and He’s God Himself.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were millions of people who visited every Catholic church every year and they waited in line and people completely focused their attention on that? To me, that’s what the Eucharistic Revival is all about. So I sure hope you show up for Jesus next summer at the Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis.


Attend the Congress! Let’s all show up for Jesus!

If you are interested in attending the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in July 2024, check out our best-rate tickets here!


 

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.