jesus-last-supper

I fear that sometimes we don’t really understand what is going on with the Eucharist and Communion, at Mass. Let me explain, why I say this. This past Sunday my wife and I had the privilege of taking the gifts of bread and wine up to the priest. We think of the Offertory as the “collection”. But really, though necessary, the collection is symbolic of our lives that we bring to and present to God. In the morning offering prayer, we start the day, by praying, “…I offer you my thoughts, words, and actions of this day.” There is really nothing else, in our life, that falls outside those parameters.

I looked down at the golden ciborium which I was carrying. It held the little wafers of bread, to be received by us, after the Consecration. At that moment, I realized that these wafers represented, not just my offerings, but the offerings of all the people in the church. What a privilege to bring up to the altar all of the sufferings, pains, joys, thoughts, words and actions of all the people present at Mass, their offerings to their God. These small, seemingly insignificant pieces of bread carried with them all the hopes and dreams of the people present. Everything we do that day, we want it to be embraced by the small wafers. Our lives are poured into the chalice holding the wine. Everything we are, we are offering to God, through His Son, Jesus, at Mass.

Later during the Mass, the priest will say these words while holding his hands extended over those same offerings, (our lives), “Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ”. And then, shortly afterwards, the priest says the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: “This is My Body, which will be given up for you. Do this in memory of Me”. It is done. Our very lives are merged with Jesus. What we do, what we offer is made holy because of Him.

We hear terms like Mystical Body of Christ, or love one another, or take care of one another, and judge not. All of these tie in back to the Eucharist that we receive at Mass. We each receive Christ. He becomes us. We become Him. We are joined with each other in this Mystical Body of Christ. We are the arms and legs of Jesus. He can act through us, but only if we allow Him to act, only if we take Him to where He is needed. By that offering of ourselves, our lives, our troubles, our days we are asking Him to bless them and make them holy. We must love one another. We must take care of one another. And why wouldn’t we? Do we not believe that Jesus loves all of us? Do we not believe that He is in the Eucharist? Do we not believe that each person is united with Jesus when we receive the Eucharist? We ARE truly brothers and sisters.

I started this talk by saying, “I fear that we don’t really understand…” Let me ask some questions that each of us need to answer for ourselves in the recesses of our hearts. I go to Mass, but WHY do I go? What part of myself do I bring? Joy? Sorrow? Fear? Worries? Money? I receive the Eucharist on my tongue or in the palm of my hands…WHO or WHAT am I receiving at that precise moment? What is the Mass? What is my involvement in it? Am I at church because of my belief or out of habit? How I answer these questions should tell me what areas of my life I may need to work on. Jesus is always with us, YES! But we still need to invite Him into our lives.

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) The Meaning of the Mystical Body of Christ
2) To YOU, My Friend
3) Be Me

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