We normally receive the Eucharist once a week, some do more than once, some do receive the Eucharist on a daily basis. "Give us this day our daily Bread". "I am the Bread of Life" says Jesus, "who eats my flesh and drinks my blood"... "will dwell in Me", and become one with Me.
In the Eucharist, we receive all Jesus. There is no half-measure in the way that God gives Himself to us. This is from His side. At each Eucharist.
But from our part, we receive all Jesus yes, but we do so according to our capacity to receive Him, and this depends on the degree of our transformation in Him. This capacity should grow. In order to let our "capacity to receive Jesus" grow, we need to enlarge it by our effort to Listen to His Word (i.e. Lectio Divina). This is why Jesus Himself didn't start by saying: first you receive Me and the Father, but: first you have to listen to My Word, then we come and dwell in you:
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;
and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14:23)
One step deeper
Let us go deeper in "who is Jesus?", the "Jesus" we receive in the Eucharist. When I receive Communion, what is happening? Who am I receiving?, what does it mean?, what are the implications?, what more could happen?.
Jesus is our Way. He states it very clearly: "I am the Way". What does it mean? It means that following Jesus is a Journey, a Journey of transformation, of growth. Step by step, we let Jesus grow in us. We put our feet in the footsteps of Jesus. It means that He first went for the full Journey, opened the way, a new way for us, leading us to the Father, to the Fullness of transformation.
In this sense we never receive the Eucharist two times the same way. In between two Communions, we are supposed to grow, and the Eucharist itself is helping us in our journey of transformation as well.
In previous Posts we studied the Journey of growth (see posts "Spirituality 25: The Spiritual Journey 1/11" and the following ones, trough to 11/11).
Let me show you the shape of the full journey of spiritual growth:
Remember that this Journey is Jesus Himself, Jesus-the-Way, Jesus the Goal of our life (Union with Jesus), and the final Goal of our life (the fullness of love: dying of love, giving our life).
Jesus is not only our Life, but He is letting His own life in us grow. This is His will.
So, in each Eucharist, we paradoxically receive all Jesus, but assimilate only one small part, the part that make us make one step ahead: the daily Bread, the spiritual burden of growth of the day (see Mt 6:34).
Do we realise that the One we receive in the Eucharist it this all Journey, and that the Eucharist is the Promise that we are called to reach the Fullness of reception of Jesus?
Indeed, in the Eucharist we receive all Jesus, the entire Jesus-Way, the entire spiritual journey of growth. Each time. At each Communion.
Indeed, we receive all Jesus. This is from God's part.
But we may remain stagnant, not growing spiritually, not having a greater capacity of reception. We are then still in the first steps of the Journey: the "Purification of the sense", and we don't move from that stage.
Is this what we are meant to live? to receive?
Why do we reduce our Eucharist into "crumbs" of "Jesus-the-Way"?
Why we don't really fully believe in the Eucharist? in ALL the Eucharist..
Why we don't work on receiving it always in a fuller way?
Each Eucharist is a Promise to reach the Fullness of the Journey, on earth. We shouldn't be postponing anything to "after-death". Do we really believe in the real meaning of the Eucharist? This is why we are constantly reminded that our vocation as Christians is Holiness. What is "holiness" if not "the fullness of the realisation of the Journey", "the fullness of the efficiency of the Eucharist": a Meal on our way, and as well the Fullness of Jesus Himself, to be received totally one day.
Living for less, asking for less, hoping for less, working for less is a lack of Love says saint John of the Cross, and it is "hurting the heart of God" and not understanding His Will.
When, at the age of 17, saint Thérèse read the description of the full journey to reach the fullness of Love, she simply believed each word and said: "I want all that (I read) to be realised in me". "I want it all." To me, this is cleverness.