It may seem a little silly to ask which sacrament out of the seven is the best. After all, all seven sacraments are good and necessary for the life of our Church, and all seven were started by Jesus Christ himself when he walked on earth with his disciples. Why do we need to compare them? It is important to distinguish between the role the different sacraments have in our journey of faith, from beginning to end, to better understand the gift that God is giving us in each one.
Some might say that baptism is the best sacrament because it is the first received. Baptism opens the door to the other six sacraments, and Baptism removes Original Sin from the soul and gives the person divine life within. Some might say that Confession is the best sacrament because this is how serious sins are forgiven through the absolution of the priest. Some might say that Matrimony is the most important because through it, new life is brought into the world. Some may even say that Holy Orders is the best because this passes on the authority of the Apostles and allows our Church to even have the sacraments through our priests. These are all valid reasons as to why each sacrament of the Church is good and even essential. However, there is one that surpasses all the rest: the Eucharist.
You may have heard the Eucharist referred to as the “Most Blessed Sacrament.” Describing this Sacrament as the “Most Blessed” is not just overly pious language or an exaggeration. It actually is the most blessed out of all the sacraments. In six of the sacraments, God imparts his divine grace to us when we receive the sacraments in good faith. However, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, God imparts himself to us. In the Eucharist, we receive an abundant outpouring of grace by receiving the actual body and blood of our Creator. We can rightly say that we worship the Sacrament of the Eucharist because the Eucharist is God Himself. While Baptism is an amazing sacrament, we would never say that we somehow worship this sacrament. We truly do worship the Eucharist, especially in the celebration of the Mass. This worship can be continued through Eucharistic adoration, when the consecrated Host is placed on the altar in a monstrance for all to revere. We worship the Eucharist every time we genuflect toward the tabernacle, which contains the Eucharist in reserve.
We can even better understand the other six sacraments in how they prepare us to receive the Eucharist. We receive Baptism as the beginning of our Christian initiation so that we can receive the ultimate sacrament of initiation – the Eucharist. Holy Orders is such a crucial sacrament for our Church because it is through this sacrament that we are able to continue receiving the Eucharist. The first job of the priest when he is ordained is to pray for the Church by offering the Mass. The Sacrament of Reconciliation forgives our sins so that we are once again able to receive the Eucharist worthily at Mass.
In heaven, we will no longer need the sacraments because our earthly pilgrimage will be completed. However, our worship of God in the Eucharist is the beginning of our eternal worship of God in heaven, which will never have an end. The Holy Eucharist is truly the Most Blessed Sacrament. This week, try to make a special visit to Jesus as he waits for us in the tabernacle.